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Someone does a nasty hatchet job on a San Fransisco big noise and the Assistant D.A. takes charge of the investigation. Through a web of blackmail and prostitution involving the Governor, an old lover of the law man emerges as a prime suspect and he has to deal with his personal feelings as well as the case. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Much Better Than The Critics Would Have You Believe
Make no mistake: (1) this IS a sordid crime story and (2) is is FAR better than the national critics - and the ones here - would have you believe. I have found it fascinating the three times I've watched it and look forward to seeing it again. It surprises me each time, being better than I remembered. It's nicely photographed, too. Why I can't get a widescreen DVD of this, I don't know, but all that seems to be available is full screen.
William Friedkin directed this which usually means (1) a riveting story; (2) stylish cinematography. That's the case here. I rate this movie so high mainly because it's so entertaining. And it doesn't overstay it's welcome at a short hour-and-a- half.
There are some stunning action scenes with cars hitting people, cars hitting cars and a long, wild car chase through a parade in San Francisco's Chinatown.
My only complaint is the normal Liberal in-your-face bias that Hollywood always seems to show. They just can't help giving you their pro-Democrat, anti- Catholic, anti-authority bias. Early scenes provide some cheap shots on Nixon and Reagan and later we see the film's two male starts talking irreverently in church. The governor is a sleaze in the story and the cops are corrupt. I've just come to except these modern-day film clichés and not let it interfere with my enjoyment of the film.
Speaking of actors and characters, David Caruso and Chazz Palminteri are the two male leads I referred to in the previous paragraph. They are both good. Why Caruso didn't make it in the movies must have been due to the roles he took, not his acting. Linda Fiorentino does what she does best - plays a whore. There isn't a moral person in here, at least with the lead actors. That's no surprise since "sleaze king" Joe Eszterhas wrote the script. Nonetheless, those three actors are very good with Caruso, as the cop, the best.
It's a crude story at times (there was a NC-version available of this, as well), but it's very interesting start-to-finish, has some memorable scenes, nice San Francisco scenery and a nice soundtrack from Celtic singer Loreena McKennitt.
22 of 39 people found this review helpful.
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