8 June 2010 | znowhite01
The one Frankenheimer wants you to forget.
John Frankenheimer's post modern stab at the crime genre comes hot off the heels of Michael Ritchie's Prime Cut (from the same author no less), only the tone is more cutesy and the body count is nearly tripled. After a Pycal-inspired opening and an excellent underwater graveyard montage, we are introduced to pearly pistol gripped gangster Richard Harris who's en route to Chicago (?) to help win a dangerous mob war. The substandard mafia plot sits second tier to the film's sporadic comedy spoofing and mugging, much of what both fails and succeeds simultaneously at the hands of its dramatic director who must have been at the peek of his well publicized cocaine binge. Harris, with his balding curl mullet and wide-brimmed glasses resembles a young Michael Caine or Woody Allen depending on the lighting and camera angle, but performs his actions and delivers his dialog like a stone cold stoic; the juxtaposition is startling and dare I say cool as hell. Action scenes come out of nowhere and are framed and executed with professionalism, including a crazy ambush on an elevated bridge, and Chuck Conner's interchangeable James Bond claw which can alternate between knives and sex toys given the occasion. Much maligned and obscure gem. The skeletal dead humans and accompanying narrator reminds me of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland.