13 May 2007 | The_Void
Not among Lenzi's best, but certainly a very good little crime thriller
Umberto Lenzi made some of the best Italian crime films with films like The Cynic, The Rat and The Fist and Almost Human, and part of the reason why these films were so successful was due to the presence of one of Italy's finest actors - the great Tomas Milian. This film doesn't feature the immense talents of Mr Milian, although it's not all bad news as Lenzi has still managed to put together a pretty damn good little crime thriller. As most of these films take a lot of influence from the masterpiece Dirty Harry, many of them focus on police officers - but this one puts its focus on criminals. The main character is a fruit vendor who makes most of his money through pimping prostitutes. His lucrative racket is interrupted one day when a French drug dealer decides that he wants to go into business with the pimp, using the whores to push his drugs. However, our pimp isn't happy with that, which is a problem as the French drug dealer isn't happy with people saying no to him, and so sets about trying to find ways to force the pimp to work with him.
It has to be said that Milano Rovente is not a spectacular crime flick; especially when compared to Lenzi's other works. However, the film is notable for the way that it doesn't strictly adhere to the rules of the genre, and also for the fact that the interesting story is carried off with panache by a team of decent actors. Antonio Sabato is no Tomas Milian, but he carries the lead role off well in his authoritative role. Lenzi's crime flicks tend to be more violent than the rest of the pack, and this one doesn't disappoint in that respect as it features plenty of brutal scenes. There isn't a lot in the way of car chases, and it has to be said that the tone of the film is largely downtrodden throughout; unlike the majority of these types of films which tend to be largely quite fun to watch. It all boils down to a nice, and rather fitting, conclusion and while I can't say that Milano Rovente is one of the best films of its type - it certainly isn't a bad one, and fans of this sort of film are likely to enjoy it.