Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 41
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 20
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Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 5
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Average Rating: 3.2/5
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Michael J. Aronin
Jimmie Ray Weeks
Chief of Detectives
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What's left is the framework for a graphic, brutal, sickening film, without the violent effects that might have made sense (however illegitimate) out of the conception.
Taking away the kissing, caressing and a few bloody killings, Friedkin has no story, though picture pretends to be a murder mystery combined with a study of Al Pacino's psychological degradation.
Its gamy images inside the leather and S&M gay bars along the Greenwich Village waterfront are both busy and dark.
Appropriately framed by opening and closing shots of a garbage scow, Cruising is trash.
While the savagery of the murders and the explicitness of the sexual practices on display are initially unsettling, they soon become numbing and, ultimately, yawn-inducing.
Cruising is no lost classic, but the critical shoeing doesn't square with Friedkin's intelligence and steady, sparse technique.
Viewers are spared nothing as Steve Burns undergoes degrading brutality after brutality; virtually nobody is portrayed sympathetically.
What an odd relic of the 1980s Cruising is. Controversial enough at the time to derail director William Friedkin's career, thirty years later it's considered totally benign when a Disney star films a reconstruction of its X-rated scenes.
Is it possible that Cruising is everything its detractors and defenders say it is?
Friedkin makes the kind of films that a pod from Invasion of the Body Snatchers might make given the chance.
still unsettling even after far more explicit fare has been produced in recent years
A lot of upcoming filmmakers saw "Cruising" and took notes, because the movie became the prototype for every serial killer movie to follow (see "Se7en," "Basic Instinct" etc.).
The film comes off as little more than a sensationalized exploitation flick.
Was it insensitive to make this film when it stood to represent the gay subculture to mainstream America? Yes. Is it a great film? No. But it is a fascinating relic.
Is it offensive? Yes and no. It's insensitive, certainly. And I wouldn't want my mother watching it, lest she think I've been in a sling in the meatpacking district for most of my adult life.
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