New York narcotics detective Popeye Doyle follows the trail of the French connection smuggling ring to France where he teams up with the gendarmes to hunt down the ringleader.Written by
Keith Loh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In planning the climactic chase in which Doyle pursues Charnier across Marseilles, director John Frankenheimer wasn't aware that Gene Hackman suffered from knee problems. Despite this, Hackman went ahead and filmed the entire chase without a double, badly inflaming his knee by the time he was through. He has said that Doyle's expressions of pain and determination as the chase progressed didn't require much acting. See more »
During the first bar scene, Popeye Doyle's drink goes from a small shot to a nearly full glass and back again during his attempted conversation with the French bartender. See more »
An outstanding sequel to Friedkin's celebrated original. Hackman's 'Popeye' Doyle continues his pursuit of Fernando Rey's drug lord Charnier in the latter's native France. Shot on location in Marseille, the film often has a feeling of latter-day spaghetti (onion?!) western with long spans of impenetrable, untitled French. Doyle's attempts to integrate himself personally and professionally into this alien town are as well handled as anything in the film.
The film deals in obsession and addiction. Just as the last film closes with Doyle abandoning reason to continue his pursuit, so this one develops this theme. Gene Hackman's bitter, awkward, tough-but-pitiful performance is the stuff of an Oscar winner who doesn't even know how to spell complacency.
John Frankenheimer does an almost impossible job very well in following Friedkin's visual temperament in support of Hackman. Marseille is filmed ruthlessly, grimy and crumbling. There is a great deal of hand-held work, culminating in extraordinary but judiciously used PoV shots in the final, remarkable chase. It's also an economical film, using unscripted action to advance the narrative. Artfully real but uncontrived, it's a very grown-up action thriller. 8/10
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