I can see how this film could be tossed into the Violent Action or confusingly written low budget categories, but I found it to be a cut or more above those types of films because of its feel. It seemed to me more like a long waking nightmare than an action yarn. It was personal. Where Dirty Harry or Arnold type films tend to try to inject societal relevance, this is about what is happening to one lone guy's little world. It seems to start the usual way in the big city, but the road trip begins immediately after the cops vs bad guy shootout. Then it is just him against the darker side of the world.
Odd to say it, but it had elements in it of a gentle, thoughtful road film like Wild Strawberries. But these gentle experiences were incessantly subverted by the nightmarish downward spiral that was this day or so in the life of the antihero lead. Dr. Borg could not find an experience or place that could distract him for long from his regrets. Boomer's problems were less existential. He could not find a safe place, even to sleep. One thing led to another and every time it couldn't get worse it did. Sustaining that through the length of the film in writing and directing is quite an accomplishment and it all goes to Wiper. The other actors did a sturdy to inspired job of playing it on the money and not ruining the vibe.
I think of it as a Film Noir and it reminds me of an Edmond O'Brien character running afoul of Communist spies and their thugs. Constantly on the run, both to and from, never knowing what is around the next corner.
Without giving anything away, the other element running through the film is an amazing tale of, ultimately, redemption involving Boomer and Cleveland. It is of course given the necessary weight by the usual brilliant performance by Andre Braugher.
Much of the film had a claustrophobic quality to it, another departure from a typical action film. I don't say this often, but being in black and white would have taken as much away from this film as it would have added. It is pretty darn good the way it is. And it does not remind me very much of any other film I have ever seen. It is coming from another place entirely.
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