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How is that? I am still trying to figure it out, but watch for the following:
1) Chris Penn delivers one of his best, truest performances; one that is on par with "The Funeral", in that it is just a tortured character played purely without clichés.
2) It presents the gritty underworld of Los Angeles without even a hint of Hollywood or elite characters.
3) Henry Czerny. Where did he come from? I have no idea, but you will try to find his other work after watching Cement.
4) The feel of the movie is right, there is nothing bright or shiny. The story is that of a dark, intense life and the atmosphere created fits perfectly.
The film is not for everyone! You will not end a viewing feeling all is right with the world, whistling happy tunes, OK? It is a gritty film with amazing performances, do not expect laughs or feel good moments. If you like Abel Ferrara (King of New York, Bad Lieutenant, Funeral) or early Scorsese (Mean Streets, Taxi Driver), see this!
This is an overwrought and disjointed Neo-Noir that has some really riveting Scenes but it's undercurrent is undercut by some rather Wordy Dialog and sloppy Montage. It starts out with Flashbacks clearly time stamped but this clarity is quickly abandon and these happen rapidly and at random. This lends itself to unneeded confusion in an already top-heavy amount of Characters and undeveloped situations.
There is some good Acting that at times approaches mimicry of Stereotype, but overall these are engaging Thugs and Cops. It has some good Atmospheric touches and is shot in an appropriately dim and gloomy Style. It is quite engrossing but is hampered somewhat by a rapid pace, too many participants and could have used more exposition.
If they had put more of an effort in to the budget of this movie, it mite have been quite good. Stay away from this film, trust me.