Ted Kramer's wife leaves her husband, allowing for a lost bond to be rediscovered between Ted and his son, Billy. But a heated custody battle ensues over the divorced couple's son, deepening the wounds left by the separation.
William Friedkin's gritty police drama portrays two tough New York City cops trying to intercept a huge heroin shipment coming from France. An interesting contrast is established between 'Popeye' Doyle, a short-tempered alcoholic bigot who is nevertheless a hard-working and dedicated police officer, and his nemesis Alain Charnier, a suave and urbane gentleman who is nevertheless a criminal and one of the largest drug suppliers of pure heroin to North America. During the surveillance and eventual bust, Friedkin provides one of the most gripping and memorable car chase sequences ever filmed. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
When Popeye is shot at from the sniper on the rooftop, he ducks behind a tree then runs over an hugs the wall to get to the entrance. As he gets close to the entrance after passing the two Spanish children in the window, if you listen very closely, you can hear a man in the background chatter from the crowd saying the same line twice: "Is there a doctor around? There must be a doctor around, THERE HE IS!" This line is said twice just before Popeye hops the railing of the steps. See more »
The film featured very little character development--for instance, Gene Hackman acted pretty well, but I had no idea where his character's motivations were coming from, so I couldn't understand him or relate to him at all. By the end of the movie, most of the characters were still in the exact same psychological state that they started in (they had no "arc"). Since everyone was incredibly boring and flat, I never really got attached to any of them or cared about their fate.
The plot was so-so; there weren't really any big "twists" in it and it wasn't particularly unique or provocative, which would be OK with me if it weren't for the fact that there isn't much else of interest in the rest of the film.
Sure, the movie is "gritty", but that alone doesn't make a movie worth watching. There are plenty of detective dramas I've seen that weren't as gritty as this, but the fact that they had excellent plots and/or interesting characters whom I came to care about made those movies vastly more entertaining than this one. Put simply, there was very little in this film that drew me into its world, besides some beautiful cinematography and a great car chase scene--possibly one of the best car chase scenes I've ever seen, actually, but it still didn't redeem the movie for me.
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