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A tense, well-crafted action film
CuriosityKilledShawn26 September 1998
A bizarre mix of creative talents went in to making this movie. Not the kind of thing that happens too often these days. A script from Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, direction by Walter Hill and his usual gang (strong editing from Freeman Davies, cool photography from Lloyd Ahern and score by Ry Cooder), Bill Paxton and William Sadler as the 'heroes' and Ice T and Ice Cube as the bad guys. It makes for a truly original movie.

Much like Judgment Night, Trespass is about two worlds colliding after bystanders witness a gangland execution. Two firemen on a treasure hunt in a huge, long abandoned East St. Louis factory. This happens to be the same territory as King James (Ice T) and his cohorts. They off some unwise punk by chucking him thru the glass roof and are pretty mortified upon discovering Bill Paxton and William Sadler are watching them. Ice T's crippled brother is taken hostage by Sadler and they seal themselves in old apartment. Several other bad guys show up and totally box them in.

What follows is a succession of stand-offs and shoot outs as Paxton and Sadler fight among themselves, T and Cube argue over who should be running the show, loyalties are challenged and each group begins to split into different factions. Stuck in the crossfire is poor old Bradlee, the innocent hobo caught in the middle as his apartment is besieged.

There are no clear-cut 'good guys' and 'bad guys' in Trespass. Just a bunch of guys who all came to the wrong place at the wrong time.

Originally called 'Looters' and scheduled for release during Summer 1992 the release date was changed to Winter and the title changed to 'Trespass'. Why? The LA riots were happening and Universal felt that there was enough racial tension in the media already. While I agree there is deliberate racism in this film it's nowhere near as bad as the morbidly extreme racism in such recent movies like Bad Boys II.

This new release by Universal is much better than the pathetic (and now OOP) release by Goodtimes. Gone is the snapper case. In its place is a sturdy keepcase and a nice bundle of extras. First of all there are some deleted scenes, a Behind the Scenes of Trespass featurette, the Ice-T/Ice Cube Trespass music video (it's the highly censored 'radio' edit) and a trailer. It is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby 2.0 sound.

You should definitely get this as it's not the standard of film Hollywood studios produce these days. IE made by talented people.
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Better than I was expecting
ateelah23 June 2003
I saw this film recently on cable and found myself more intrigued by it than I thought I would be. I hadn't heard anything about this movie so I really didn't know what to expect. It ended up being much better than I expected and, while not a great film, it is certainly one I wouldn't mind watching again. I recognized the elements of "Treasure of Sierra Madre" without having any information about the film. I've since learned that it was indeed echoing Huston's film.

I had no problem with the actors and actually found some of the conflicts on both sides interesting. Even some of the "bad guys" were struggling to deal with decisions they didn't necessarily agree with. I didn't really see the characters as all bad or all good. Each had their own demons that they brought with them and they were all susceptible to the lure of gold.
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Not Walter Hill's best work but still a very effective and tense thriller.
Infofreak16 June 2004
Looking at the cover of 'Trespass' it would be easy to overlook it on the shelves, thinking it was just another one of hundreds of generic action movies that clog up the video store shelves. I know I did for quite some time. Bill Paxton and William Sadler are dependable character actors but seeing the pictures of both Ice-T and Ice Cube hardly inspires confidence. As rappers they are without doubt very talented, but apart from Cube's surprisingly good performance in 'Three Kings', neither has impressed me as an actor. In fact having Ice-T in the cast of a movie is invariably a sign that it sucks big time. No disrespect intended to T, but he seems to have made some lousy career choices when it comes to motion pictures ('Tank Girl', 'Mean Guns', 'Below Utopia', 'The Alternate',etc.etc.) closer inspection however reveals that 'Trespass' is directed by Walter Hill. That's Walter 'The Driver', 'The Warriors', 'The Long Riders' Hill. Even more interesting is the fact that the script is by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis of 'Back To The Future' fame. Well I'm glad I finally gave this movie a shot, because while it isn't one of Hill's best, it's a very effective and tense thriller. It's a siege thriller, and I love that style when it's done well e.g. 'Straw Dogs', 'Assault On Precinct 13'. Paxton and Sadler play firefighting buddies who come in possession of a map which reveals hidden treasure, looted from a church fifty years earlier. When they journey to an abandoned factory to find it they witness a murder and find themselves trapped. Outside is gangsta King James (Ice-T) and his gang, including hotheaded Savon (Ice Cube), and inside they have James' junkie "brother" Lucky (De'Voreaux White) as a hostage, and an old homeless man Bradlee (Art Evans). Okay, I'll admit that there's not much new here (the movie is deliberately modeled on John Huston's classic 'The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre'), but the acting is above average, especially from Sadler, a most underrated actor, and Hill manages to sustain the suspense right until the very end. Definitely worth a look.
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Walter Hill goes gangsta.
Kastore2 December 2002
The main focus of this movie is the set-up of various action sequences, the debating over what to do in the characters' situations, and – what Walter Hill has always been especially good at – the overall machismo. Most of "Trespass" is a drawn-out standoff between the bad guys in a remote, long-abandoned warehouse and the grossly outnumbered good guys in a tightly-sealed room with the bad leader's brother as a hostage. David Fincher may have wanted to watch this movie and taken notes, since "Panic Room" has got absolutely nothing on this movie. The action begins very quickly and doesn't let up until the fiery, casualty-counting conclusion, making the film's 101min length seem like not even half that. "Trespass" is ripe with Hill's inimitable style and pace, combining with Ry Cooder's score and Lloyd Ahern's sepia-toned cinematography to create a sense of desolation and high tension for the setting.

Add to this an excellent cast of genre and character actors for a very captivating film. Bill Paxton and William Sadler ("Die Hard II") turn in intense performances as the lone protagonists, especially Sadler whose career unfortunately never reached the level it should have. Ice-T is in one of his more effective roles as King James, the gangsta leader. Ice Cube also stands out as the upstart, rebellious follower of James, Savon; his "king of the streets" speech is the monologue highlight of the movie. Art Evans (also from "Die Hard II") is perfect as the wise old angry homeless man, who reluctantly helps out Paxton and Sadler despite their initial treatment of him. And the criminal elements include noticeable performances from De'voreaux White as the unfortunate hostage 'Lucky'; Tiny 'Zeus' Lister Jr. as the musclebound henchman 'Cletus'; and the underused Stoney Jackson as the overly-suave crony 'Wickey'.

This was the last of a string of box office disappointments (including "Johnny Handsome" and "Another 48 Hrs.") that Hollywood allowed Walter Hill to make before relegating him to the role of mainstream hack. "Trespass" was released with little fanfare, having its release date postponed from summertime to after Christmas as a result of the 'crisis' that was the LA riots. Besides its original title of "Looters", "Trespass" also includes the recurring theme of seeing events via videocamera (which would have been a troubling reminder of the Rodney King and Reginald Denny beatings), not to mention a heavy, uncompromising racist slant not too common in modern-day action movies.

Though not Hill's best, it is far from his worst. A must-see for fans of stylized action. 8/10
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What Hill Is Good At
BadRon19 March 2000
This is a film independent film makers should take a look at if action films are of any interest to them. Not for the seen-it-all, heard-it-all plot and profane dialogue, but for Walter Hill's staging and execution of the action. The film has a terrific pace to it and the camera always shows an interesting angle. The locations are at a minimum, very cost efficient and capably creating a claustrophobic atmosphere. Very well done. Good, moody music score, again, by the great Ry Cooder.
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Great undiscovered action film
preppy-310 May 2008
Two firefighters (played by Bill Paxton and William Sadler) find a map that leads to stolen gold. It's located in a huge abandoned factory. Unfortunately it also happens to be where a band of black drug dealers have their headquarters. Soon it's blacks vs. whites to the death.

A dynamite thriller on full throttle--full of non-stop swearing, plenty of gun fights and gruesome killings. The plot doesn't really make a lot of sense but once this movie kicks into gear you won't care. The action is virtually non-stop and there's a loud pounding music score that propels the movie along. There's also some intentionally funny humor in here so it's always clear that this is not to be taken seriously. The acting is mostly just OK--but who watches this for the acting? Paxton is the only one who gives a really good performance. The only debit here is that the movie constantly keeps switching from color to b&w (the POV of a gang member filming all this). It's jarring and unnecessary.

This was a bomb at the box office and didn't hit it big on video either. That's really too bad because it's one of director Walter Hills best film. Tough, violent and exciting. An 8 all the way.
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The Intelligent action movie
babylon-224 September 1998
It seems that it is impossible to have a movie that is completely action orientated, yet be highly intelligent.But Trespass has done this very well. It puts together a group of characters in a difficult situation with which you get to see them react to their circumstances in a fresh and realistic way.

I was very impressed with Ice-T who gave an extremely convincing performance as the leader of the criminals.

This film is excellent and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who would like to see an action movie done right!
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Great late night TV film...
mckillotd26 March 2004
I have only ever seen this film at about 2-00 in the morning on late night T.V. but what a great show it was. Good action and adventure and a decent enough story for a low budget action flick. This was yet another average selling Bill Paxton film that was really good. For an actor that was outside the a-list, nearly every film he made was worth the watching and this is no exception. Definitely worth watching on T.V. although I don't know if it is the sort of film that you would pay to buy a copy of but if you come home after a night out and are looking for a film to watch to keep you going through the night, you could do worse than watch this.
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One of Walter Hills' most potent and entertaining films.
Hey_Sweden8 August 2017
Indeed, veteran action specialist Walter Hill "goes gangsta" in this stylized thrill ride. It blurs the lines between "good" guys and "bad" guys; the protagonists are not squeaky clean, and the antagonists are not purely one-dimensional - not all of them, anyway. An assortment of colorful characters and solid performances add to the entertainment value of a film that ultimately builds to a real fever pitch. The pacing is truly excellent, along with the atmosphere and the typically eclectic music score by Hills' old pal, Ry Cooder.

Bill Paxton (Rest in Peace, sir) and William Sadler are Vince and Don, two Arkansas firemen who get wind that the treasure from a long ago church robbery has been socked away inside a now decrepit wreck of an apartment building. Wouldn't you know it: soon after Vince and Don arrive at the place, a gang of very tough black drug pushers arrive to use the place to execute a traitorous member of their crew. Vince witnesses the act, leading to a completely untenable situation where the main thing keeping Vince and Don alive is the fact that they've taken Lucky (De'voreaux White, "Die Hard"), the younger brother of gang leader King James (rapper / actor Ice-T), prisoner.

While you don't necessarily root for any one team in particular, you do understand where certain characters are coming from. King James really does have genuine concern for his sibling, while Vince is a more naive and somewhat more reasonable person than Don, who's determined to have the trip be worth something. Drawn into the fray is a homeless man named Bradlee (Art Evans, "Fright Night") who's been squatting in the building. Naturally, the whole argument comes up over who exactly has the most right to the gold.

Particularly riveting are the dynamics between key characters, as both Vince & Don, and King James & his right hand man, Savon (Ice Cube), argue over methodology.

The action comes fast and furious, with Hill drawing us into one tense and effective sequence after another. The stunts and special effects are first rate, and the soundtrack, consisting of Cooders' score and a selection of rap tunes (including a kick ass duet by Ice-T and Ice Cube), is consistently catchy. The mostly black cast includes some very solid character actors: Bruce A. Young ("Jurassic Park III"), Glenn Plummer ("Speed"), Stoney Jackson ("Streets of Fire"), 'Tiny' Lister ("Friday"), et al.

It's a shame that this was actually a flop in its time. 25 years later, it still works quite well, with a finale that truly brings the house down.

Written, and executive produced, by Bob Gale & Robert Zemeckis.

Eight out of 10.
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Enjoyable enough for what it is.
poolandrews2 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Trespass starts in Arkansas where two firemen Vince (Bill Paxton) & Don (William Sadler) stumble across a map showing the whereabouts of millions in stolen gold while putting out a huge fire, together they decide to find the gold for themselves & get rich. The map leads the pair to East St. Louis & an old abandoned factory, once there they start looking for the gold. Meanwhile local gangster King James (Ice-T) & his gang kill a rival who has ripped them off thinking no-one would be at the abandoned factory. Vince & Don witness the murder & are seen by King James & his gang, thinking fast Don takes a hostage & barricades himself & Vince a in a secure room. For the time being they are safe as there is no way into the room but at the same time there is no way out either so Vince & Don are trapped as King James & his men outside try to get into the room & kill them...

Directed by Walter Hill this is an entertaining little action thriller that I quite liked. The script by executive producers Bob Gale & Robert Zemeckis could be described as a more urban version of Panic Room (2002), only a decade earlier. The basic plot which really isn't too dissimilar to Panic Room is very good & I liked it, it's one of those plots where you tend to put yourself in certain character's positions & think about what you would do in their situation. Whether you would go hunting for the gold or how you would get out of the room without getting killed by the gangsters Trespass has a good story that holds your attention & definitely keeps you interested until the end. The character's are good if a little too simple, they are either good or bad with nothing between really although Don has a certain darker side. The script is fairly pacey although I must say that it can get a little repetitive at times, once Vince & Don are trapped in the room the film never really goes anywhere else & there aren't any sub-plots or anything else going on. The script also tries to throw in some moral dilemmas, in particular Vince & Don have millions in gold but it's completely worthless since they are more than likely going to be killed, it has a stab at trying to say money isn't everything & greed will ultimately lead to ones downfall. I suspect the main reason why Trespass isn't more well known is that there's a distinct lack of big action set-pieces, there's some shoot-outs & some scenes of buildings on fire but little else in the way of action. So what it boils down to really is whether you want lots of action or can get by with just a good solid intriguing plot, overall I liked Trespass but it's not a film I would probably want to watch again anytime soon.

Set almost entirely in an abandoned factory the film looks nice enough & the action is well choreographed. I suppose it's a fairly unremarkable film that won't last long in the memory in terms of looks & visual style but the plot does stand out & is something a little bit different. The violence is not excessive, a few people get shot & someone gets pushed off a roof. There is however lots of profanity as all the black gangsters swear like it's a religion, in fact all the language does get a little tedious & tiresome after a while. Just because you can say the 'F' word several times in a sentence doesn't mean you are hard.

Although set in St. Louis it was apparently shot on location in Memphis in Tennessee & Atlanta in Georgia. I must say that I am big fans of both Bill Paxton & William Sadler & I think they are both very good in this while the two named after small blocks of frozen water Ice-T & Ice Cube swear a lot. One of very few films not to feature a single woman during it's running time at all.

Trespass is a good tight little taught thriller with some nice action as well, the story is good & I liked it but it does get a little repetitive at times & if you can't get into the story then you will end up hating it.
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Fast and Furious
Elbow1 October 1999
Trespass is an action movie. No doubt about it. But to judge it accordingly would be a mistake. Walter Hill, one of the best action directors ever, is at the helm of this movie, which automatically makes it worth a look.

The movie concerns a couple of hick fire fighters (Bill Paxton and Bill Sadler, in great roles): one a classic hick, the other a borderline psycho, chasing treasure in the ghetto. They eventually cross paths with some big-time G's (gangsters) led by Ice-T and Ice Cube.

The story still sounds familiar, and for Hill it is a return to certain familiar territory. Like many of his pictures the movie centers around machismo and male posturing, but not since Hill's 48HRS had he done a film that contained some subtle social commentary on race relations, and paranoid stereotyping. There are fierce gun battles as expected, and the story is never boring. "Die Hard in the Ghetto" , may have been an equally suitable title.

The movie is tense , funny and great, and sadly, was ignored at the box-office during its' Christmas 1992 release. Fortunately, it has been immortalized on home video and DVD.
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Who's going to call the cops? The pigeons or the rats?
Spikeopath13 February 2012
Trespass is directed by Walter Hill and written by Bob gale and Robert Zemeckis. It stars Bill Paxton, Ice-T, William Sadler and Ice Cube. Music is by Ry Cooder and cinematography by Lloyd Ahern II. Plot finds Sadler and Paxton as two fireman who learn of stolen treasure hidden in a disused building in East St. Louis. Upon arriving there they begin their search but are interrupted when a gang led by Ice-T's King James decides to use the building to execute an enemy. A stand off ensues....

It was held back from release under its original title of "The Looters" due to the L.A. riots in the summer of 92. Where under its new title it was released at Christmas and promptly bombed at the box office. A shame since it's a taut and claustrophobic thriller crafted with knowing skill by Walter Hill. Clearly an urban take on The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, with dashes of Rio Bravo thrown in for good measure, film makes the most of the premise without using pointless filler and by not being afraid to up the racial hatred aspects of the stand off. Hill's construction of the action is first rate and smooth, and the cast are firing on all cylinders to make the material work in what is practically a one location picture. 7/10
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goes straight into the action quickly
disdressed1223 May 2009
this movie doesn't mess around with story or character's all about the action,and there is a lot of's exciting fun and won't win any awards or anything,but what the hey.late at night,(anytime really,but it's better late at night)it's a great treat.Walter Hill(48 Hrs,Another 48 Hrs)directed while Bob Gale(The Back to the Future Trilogy)and Robert Zemeckis(Back to the Future,The Polar Express)co wrote it.there's a great ensemble cast here,including,Bill Paxton,William Sadler,Ice-T,Ice Cube,Art Evans(Never Die Alone,Tales From the Hood),Bruce A. Young(various TV series)and Tommy 'Tiny' Lister(Never Die Alone,Dracula 3000).for me,trespass is an 8/10
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A real cracking action thriller winner
Woodyanders5 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Eager beaver Vince (a fine performance by Bill Paxton) and his more cynical buddy Don (the always excellent William Sadler) are two Arkansas firemen who stumble across a map to a fortune in gold. Vince and Don go to a rundown derelict factory located in a dangerous East St. Louis ghetto neighborhood to retrieve the loot. They find themselves in considerable jeopardy when they run afoul of a lethal gang of drug dealers led by the ruthless King James (a superbly menacing Ice T) and his hot-tempered right-hand man Savon (Ice Cube in peak surly form). Don and Vince manage to abduct King James' crippled junkie brother Lucky (a nicely twitchy De'voreaux White), which leads to a tense cat and mouse stand-off between the two opposing groups. Director Walter Hill relates the narrative hurtling along at a constant breakneck pace, expertly milks a maximum amount of suspense from the absorbing story, and stages the stirring action scenes with his trademark fiery brio and striking style. The tight, edgy script by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis makes a bleak and potent statement about how greed and power lust bring out the worst in people while making a radical departure from the standard action picture formula: There are no clear-cut distinctions between the good guys and the bad guys in this dark tale of betrayal and disloyalty; instead we've got a handful of desperate folks who all find themselves neck deep in a whole lot of trouble. The film further benefits from the uniformly sound acting from a tip-top cast: Paxton and Sadler have a sturdy, relaxed rapport, Ice T and Ice Cube spar with each other with rip-snorting gusto, plus there are stand-out turns by Art Evans as bitter, hapless old bum Bradlee, Stoney Jackson as the suave Wickey, Bruce Young as smooth gun dealer Raymond, Tommy "Tiny" Lester as the hulking Cletus, and Gwenn Plummer as itchy trigger man Luther. Lloyd Ahern's slick cinematography and Ry Cooder's rattling, rousing bluesy score are both solid and effective. The last third of the movie is especially gripping and exciting. A bang-up little beaut.
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Nothing to object to or complain about
hector-427 September 1998
The film based on the B. Traven story 'Treasure of Sierra Madre' already a 'one of the best films' by John Houston updates the story to a run down area of East St Louis. Virtually a single location and smallish cast. The dialogue is loaded 'f's' & 'm-f's' but is none the worse for that. Hill's refusal to give the characters any background beyon d a few basic facts, for example the treasure seekers are known to be firemen, allows the characterisation to develop before the viewers eyes. There are some extremely funny moments especially the ones involving mobile phones -something no modern gang member should be without it seems. I watched this film on TV and regret not having seen it originally in the cinema - if in fact that was possible where I live.
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Simple good action fun.
Boba_Fett113827 June 2012
This is a movie perhaps more in the vein of a silly '80's genre flick, that is heavy on the fun and action but not really on its story.

In this case however it's a good thing that the movie doesn't have a too complicated story in it. It's actually being one of the movie its strengths that the movie has a simple story to it, that doesn't ever make things needlessly complicated or hard and annoying to follow.

The story is mostly being kept simple by the fact that most of the movie is taking place at just one location; an old abandoned factory. And the movie doesn't need an awful lot more than that, to simply create a good and fun action flick with. It uses its settings well and handles its concept in a good and original way. The movie is still filled with plenty of surprises, in terms of that you just never really know what will happen next or how the movie shall eventually end.

It never really makes this a boring or tiresome movie to watch. There is always something happening and there is plenty of variety to it all, even though it has restrained settings and a quite simple and straightforward story in it. All reasons why this movie is definitely way better than just the average genre attempt. And that's a real fact!

Walter Hill has never been a director of any truly great movies (except for "The Warriors" perhaps, though I still had plenty of problems with that movie) but he always was a guy that knew how to handle '80's type of action in his movies, perhaps also thanks to it that he had worked with many other great directors from that time period, as a writer and producer. And the movie truly benefits from this. It never becomes a big or spectacular action flick but it still really feels like a big action movie, probably because the movie never stands still.

The acting is a bit of a mixed bag but then again what action movie does have impressive and flawless actors and acting in it. It's always nice to see Bill Paxton in a leading role and he actually pulls all of the action stuff quite well as well. I have a bigger problem with the gangsters and villains in this movie. I never have been all that impressed with Ice-T's acting and Ice Cube also isn't always too convincing with his acting. But oh well, guess that in some way their acting and the characters that they play add somewhat to the nostalgia- and cheesy fun value of this movie.

Definitely a good and also entertaining enough movie to watch.

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Violent and thoroughly entertaining thriller
The_Void14 December 2008
I really had no idea what to expect going into Trespass having never heard of it before catching it on TV - but having seen Bill Paxton's name flash up on screen, and having that followed up by The Warrior's director Walter Hill ensured that I would be watching it anyway. And I'm really glad I stuck with it because Trespass is a brilliantly entertaining modern day blaxploitation thriller with a heavy helping of strong violence and morally destitute macho characters. The plot is not particularly important, but certainly interesting nonetheless. We follow two Arkansas firemen who, having found out that a valuable stash of gold may be hidden in a factory in East St Louis, set off to claim it. However, upon arriving at the factory; they are soon joined by a group of black gangsters and end up witnessing one of them being killed. Naturally, the gangsters want the witnesses dead; but when the fireman manage to hole up in one of the factory's rooms; a standoff between the two groups ensues.

The film is not completely devoid of themes or a point. Naturally the central point is the idea of blacks vs. whites, which adds in an element of controversy, and also we've got themes relating to greed emanating from the idea of the trespassers being in the factory to chase gold. These two do make the film slightly more interesting; although clearly the main focus of the film is on the violence and entertainment stemming from the violence, and that's what really ensures Trespass is successful. Director Walter Hill creates a thoroughly nasty atmosphere; helped along by the fact that not a single character has much more than a shred of decency. The acting is very good, with Bill Paxton providing the only thing like a hero and doing really well with the role. He gets good backup from William Sadler along with a handful of rappers including Ice T and Ice Cube. The film is engrossing for the duration and is not short on action. The way that much of it is focused in just one place ensures that we are able to get into the lead character's plight; even if we don't particularly like them. I was a bit worried that the soundtrack might be saturated with rap; but the director manages to keep this to a minimum which is definitely to the film's credit. Overall, Trespass is a very well done little thriller and one that I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend!
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an underrated gem
danielw-31 August 2004
For me, this low-budget thriller is one of the finest I've seen. There's little of the usual Hollywood thriller gimmicks. No big name actors (bar a moonlighting rapper), no loud surprise bangs, no big set-piece stunt scenes, no unnecessary-and-obvious twists, and definitely no car chases. In fact, for an action thriller, there's really not much action (Trespass could probably be done as a theatre piece). All of which equates to box-office failure and obscurity.

Do not be put off; this is a great movie. Tight and claustrophobic, it oozes tension. The setup has 2 hicks-ville firemen chasing lost loot in a derelict New York tenement, and ending up under siege when they interrupt a drug-deal (and take one of the dealers as a hostage). A stalemate ensues, but one that can't last. The direction is good, building tension and pace slowly. The characterisation and acting are nothing special, but considerably more interesting than the standard for a Hollywood thrillers.
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Im not leaving without that gold!!!
eddiemetal129 September 2003
i was flicking thru tv channels when i came upon this film playing a few years back, im a big bill paxton fan so sat down and watched it, im glad i did as its great. basically it boils down to 2 fireman (paxton and sandler)getting hold of a map that shows a trove of gold which is buried in a warehouse on wasteland. they go to find it at and get interupted by a gang fued in the same warehouse they are in. the gang (ice-t, ice cube among others) find out why they are there and a standoff ensues leading to gunfire and carnage.....SWEET!

good acting throughout from all concerned (including lesser known stars). it is a simple idea for a film played out very well with lots of tension and bursts of violence.

it features a good rap soundtrack by the stars in the film too (considering im a metal fan and dont like much rap thats kinda shows its not too bad hehe)

well worth watching, i've just got to find it on dvd now hehe
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billybrown4117 December 2002
Wow. It's been said that Walter Hill is a masterful action director and this does rank as one of his best films. Working from an air tight script by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, he sure does make it all work.

Here we have the story of a couple of Arkansas firemen who stumble across a map guessed it, buried treasure. They load up their Bronco and take a little road trip up to East St.Louis to grab the loot. In a rundown building, where the treasure is supposedly hidden, they find a little more than they bargained for and things pretty much go downhill from there. It's now a battle of wits and bullets. It rocks.

Bill Paxton, I think, is one of today's best actors and he does his thing well here as the naive Arkansas boy. William Sadler also does his thing as the likeable, hot-headed psychopath and Ice T pretty much plays Ice T. The action is fast and the absurdity of the whole thing will keep you glued to your sets.
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Passable - just enough energy to justify watching
bob the moo2 May 2004
Don and Vince are two Arkansas firemen who get hold of a map that appears to show the hiding place for gold that was stolen from a church many years ago. They travel up to a disused factory in East St Louis where the map shows it is hidden. They begin ripping up the floors but find they aren't alone when they witness a business deal going down that results in a murder. With King James eager to silence witnesses, Don is forced to grab his brother and he and Vince hole up inside the building and try to work out an escape route while James' men start to surround the building.

A modern Blaxploitation film for the early nineties, this film is just about worth watching once but certainly not much more than that. The film takes about 15 minutes to get moving but, once it does, it centres on the one room where our two heroes (?) are trapped for the majority of the film. As such it relies quite a bit on tough talking and shouting to make the film work, even if it does have it's share of gunplay as well. The action and the shouting are both pretty basic and it isn't as thrilling or engaging as it really could have been. It is quite trashy but yet it is still just about passable if you are in a mood for a film that does hold itself in that high regard either! The direction is a big part of the problem as it is rather lacklustre and flat, failing to ever really ignite with tension or excitement. Likewise, Hill's decision to have one of the characters capturing everything on video is a strange gimmick that never works.

Of course the writing is hardly a great help, failing to give the film strong characters to base the action/tension on. The dialogue is tough and not particularly inventive or original. It's main weakness is that it fails to really create real people - Don is greedy, Vince more honest, meanwhile all the black characters are bad support characters from gangsta/hood films. This is not a massive flaw but, added to the lack of really engaging or tense action and it serves to make for a film that is passable but not really very entertaining.

The cast really add to the feel of a workmanlike film by virtue of their star status and their actual performances. Paxton runs round looking rather wide-eyed, while Sadler just starts a little greedy and gets increasingly crazed as the film goes. Ice-T looks silly now with his long hair and his performance is rather stereotypical and lacking in any personal touch. Cube is just as lazy a performance but at least he has a bit of gruff energy to him. The support cast has quite a few well known black faces in it but the most interesting aspect of the cast to me was the Die Hard connection - with William Sadler, De'voreaux White and Art Evans all having played roles in parts I and II.

Overall this is an average film at best - it is just about noisy enough to justify giving it a stab if you are in a forgiving and understanding mood. The action is average, the plot OK, the characters nonexistent and the dialogue passable. It never really ignites and it is never really tense or exciting but it's maybe worth a watch once.
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Nothng But Nastiness
ccthemovieman-12 September 2006
This is a nasty movie - very nasty. It's extremely profane and doesn't feature a nice guy in the bunch, just a bunch of extremely low-life profane people.

Bill Paxton, William Sadler, Ice Cube, Ice T and whatever other stupid rappers name you can think of cuss and shoot each other in an abandoned warehouse for much of the film. There is no one to root for and Paxton's character is the only one who has at least a shred of conscience. Also, this is a Walter Hill-directed film so you know you're going to get a lot of violence. I also didn't care for the rap soundtrack, although it wasn't overbearing or too loud.

Having said all that, the film did keep my attention, to say the least. I have to admit: this was a very interesting story. If you're in a violent, testy, irritable, hostile mood and you want a movie to go with it, this is it! Not really recommended but better than I've described it above. Just b ready to have your ears assaulted.
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Who Trespasses Here
momdadelayna6 March 2006
What does a murder in East St. Louis, Illinois and a fire more than two-hundred miles away have to do with each other? Nothing, until an Arkansas fireman shows his co-worker (and girlfriend's ex-husband) the contents of a package given to him by a suicide victim he tried to save. It contained a map, a newspaper clipping of the robbery of a church fifty years earlier and a beautiful gold cross. The hunt was on. Meanwhile, a gang sets in motion a plan to murder of one of is own, do to a video tape of a murder, at the same abandoned warehouse the two firemen are going to be treasure hunting. The parties collide, as the firemen are seen witnessing the hit and to save themselves, they hold hostage the gang leader's little brother.

Director Walter Hill shows us that if there is a chance for riches, some people will do anything to get them. Vince(Bill Paxton) thinks of the hunt for gold as a child's adventure, while Don(William Sadler) thinks of it as a way to get ahead in his world. Along the same vein, King James(Ice-T) wants to save his little brother and hostage, Lucky(De'vortex White). When Savon(Ice Cube) catches wind that there may be gold at the warehouse, he tries to make a power play and leave no witnesses. Even as Bradlee(Art Evans), a homeless man living in the building, learns of the gold, he never takes his eyes off it.

Thinking this movie was actually made in East St. Louis, I was disappointed to find out it was shot in Memphis and Atlanta. Now I know. But this movie wasn't just about location: it was about lust for fortune and loyalty to others; it was about what everybody wants. Gold may have been an unnamed co-star, but it was respect that everyone was chasing.
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A lesson in greed
allmagic-110 October 2003
I thought this movie was very well done and didn't recieve the attention it deserves. I saw it a long time ago and have asked my video store to get it in stock on DVD so I can again rent it. I can't even find it for purchase through Columbia House! Great movie!
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A great film
Gareth_Hacking13 December 2002
This film is one you barely hear about which I think is a great shame as it's a great action film filled with superb performances. Vince (Bill Paxton) and Don (William Sadler) are a couple of New Orleans firemen who, in the process of tackling a blazing building find a crazed old man who hands them a possible treasure map before burning to death. Finding out it might be a fortune in gold stashed 50 years they set off for remote abandoned factory in East St Louis. Unfortunately, this also happens to be the same location ‘Business man' King James (Ice-T) and his associates are taking care of some ‘business'. Before they know it Vince and Don are trapped in a single room with no obvious means of escape, a hostage, Lucky, who happens to King James's little brother and a homeless man, Bradlee. Outside is the Association, who out-man and out-gun them, with no idea what a couple of white boys are doing on their turf. As the standoff continues the tension mounts between the two groups, especially with gang member Savon (Ice Cube) getting a rather itchy trigger finger. And what about the gold in all this?

I love this film as it no pretension of being nothing else but a thrill ride. We know next to nothing about these characters, but that not important, as we don't need to. It moves at such a brisk pace with ever changing relationships dynamics that there is never a dull moment. An excellent cast of genre and character actors also helps. Paxton and Sadler are intense as the out-of-their-depths firemen, Sadler especially as the desperate and greedy Don. Ice-T is effective as King James, trying to resolve the situation without Lucky getting hurt. Ice Cube also shines in his supporting role.

Surprisingly, this inner-city tale is loosely based on ‘The Treasure of the Sierra Madre' and written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, names you'd more normally associate with lighter fare. Just as well Walter Hill is directing, controlling the action with considerable skill as only a man with vast experience could do. And of course, it wouldn't be a Walter Hill film if I didn't a great Ry Cooder soundtrack (which I'd love to get a hold of).
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