He used to be on the bomb squad, but it's not until he transfers out that Chris Mankowski really begins juggling with dynamite. Rape and revenge are just the tip of the iceberg in a twisty tale that brings Detroit denizens to life - and occasional death - in all their seedy glory, circa 1974. Written by
Director Charles Mathau's father Walter Mathau's films are seen advertised outside cinemas several times during the film, including the 1974 The Front Page and The Taking of Pelham 123. See more »
In one scene, Robin holds up the two romance novels she had written ("Ravishing Love" and "The Raging Rape of Savannah"). Between shots, the two books switch places from one hand to the other, even though she had not moved her hands in any way. See more »
Written by Peter Cor (aka Peter Cor Belenky) and Bernard Taylor (aka Beloyd Taylor)
Performed by 'Earth, Wind & Fire' See more »
I wanted to like this film. I love Elmore Leonard novels, and loved Get Shorty, 52 Pickup, Get Straight and Jackie Brown (Rum Punch). In the hands of a master like Tarantino, Elmore Leonard's complex and fast-paced plots, with numerous characters throwing witty street banter around, really shine.
Unfortunately, Charles Mattheau isn't up to the task, and characters are miscast, pacing is awful, even the score is wrong in so many places. This film often comes off as a bad TV tongue-in-cheek crime show, complete with dramatic musical flourishes when the camera zooms in on the sexy legs of actresses Sabina Gadeki and Breanne Racano. (Their legs and other beautiful body parts are the best things about these mediocre actresses, in my opinion). The explosion scenes are evidence of a severe shortage in the sfx budget as well as the actor budget.
Even the usually outstanding Crispin Glover as the spacey drunken rich guy Woody Ricks is tepid, either overacting scenes or underacting them. Everything seems out of sync in this film.
Perhaps I'm holding it up to too high of a standard with the aforementioned Leonard film adaptations. But it is what it is...and cool 70's sets and apparel (the novel was set in the 60s), witty Leonard dialog and clever plot apparently weren't enough for director Mattheau to pull this off. I have to believe Elmore Leonard is supremely disappointed in this effort, since as I recall he labeled this his favorite novel. One can only hope that someday a director like Tarantino remakes this film the right way, and captures the crazy 60's vibe from the novel.
18 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?