Television, Movie and Play Reviews

Reviewed by Cherie Jung


Starring: Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer
Director: Michael Mann

This is more of a character study than a straight crime drama. Two men are consumed by their vocations. DeNiro is the master criminal and Pacino plays the "get-them-at-all-costs" cop. They move about the city of Los Angeles almost like a finely choreographed dance. Each man know he is up against the best, and that most likely, there will be no happy ending. In these gritty lives, no one walks away unscathed. Staying alive costs plenty.

The pacing of the story is slow. Not that this is a negative. The movie is long (157 minutes) and it takes its time unfolding. Glimpses into the lives of the various characters give the audience a sense of who they are and what it's going to cost them to keep going. By the end of the movie, the audience will probably be torn between who they want to see "win" this one.

There is a spectacular shoot out with the police and DeNiro's crew through the streets of Los Angeles. But as far as violence, this is pretty tame by today's standards.

My only quibbles were that in more than one instance, the plot turned on information that the police used but had no possible way of knowing. And I felt that the ending was okay but would have been more in line with the theme of the movie if the outcome of the final shoot out had been reversed.

I recommend this movie. But remember, this is more of a character study than a cops and robbers picture. Sort of like "Crimson Tide" was more of a character study than a submarine picture.

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