27 April 2001 | Aylmer
Come for the cast, stay for the dialog
This is definitely one of the best crime movies ever made, if not THE best... Cassinelli stars as a cop who teams up with a drug dealer (Tomas Milian) and three scummy thieves to save a kidnapped girl from slimey villain Henry Silva and his gang... well actually it's more about finally killing Silva.
There's plenty of great action scenes, walk-on cameos by a large number of the Italian "regulars" like Luciano Rossi, Tom Felleghy, Giovanni Cianfriglia, and Riccardo Petrazzi... the same bunch who show up regularly in EVERY crime movie. What's best about this one is that while it has a good share of random crimes and killings (Italy had to be the least-safe place to live in the 70's), they all actually blend together into the greater story. The ending is one of the best in the genre and certainly surprising. What really gets me coming back to watch this one again and again is the abundance of really great, quotable, almost Tarantino-eque dialog. The best such quotes come from an understandably annoyed Silva as he tries to run a fairly incompetent kidnap syndicate, containing their fair share of expletives. Tomas Milian also has quite a few good lines as essentially the comic relief, but in the end he ends up being a pretty likable character even as he steals the good guy's wallet and jumps on a train.
Topping that, this film has unusually bright and nicely-framed photography from Argento veteran cinematographer Luigi Kuveiller, as well as some very hummable music by the relatively unknown Bruno Canfora. The casting decisions are uniformally excellent; Cassinelli is wooden but convincing as the hard-nose cop, Biagio Pelligra, Roberto Undari, and Giuseppe Castellano are great as the trio of thugs unknowingly aiding the good guys, and Tomas Milian shines as "Garbage Can" Monezza.
Unfortunately, this is one of the hardest of Lenzi's crime films to find, especially here in the states. Luckily it was released in Holland in English, though not in the full 'scope. Let's pray that DVD companies start picking these crime films up, and moreover... that this is one of them.