Viewed – 30 September 2008 DVD
I thought this kicked all kinds of ass when I watched it once on late night television. Who can argue with the set up of a respected, feared gang boss (Christopher Walken on electrifying form) who is released from prison and goes about taking over New York City by any means necessary. Dirty, seedy, sexy and very violent – result!
Yet having sat down and watched it again now – it hasn’t aged well. Walken of course is superb, but the story and the situations all feel so over-dramatic with little tension or believable atmosphere – it kinda feels like a very bloody comic book - of which I don’t have a problem with…but you can tell this film is taking itself very seriously, and frankly…at times it began to look a bit juvenile. Scarface would have crapped all over these guys.
The cops (headed by David Caruso and Wesley Snipes) are very unlikable (especially hot shot dick-head Caruso) and the dead-faced Walken is unstoppable…leading to a very weak ending. Yet saying hat, its still all tits, guns, coke and attitude to spare – and Walken is always worthy of your time.
Verdict: 3 /5