Fort Apache, the Bronx Reviews
It's clear that the makers were trying to get to a point of "gritty realism" in this tale of Cops working the beat in the Bronx of the late 70's. Yet, as the disclaimer at the beginning of the film reminds us, there are good people who live in the Bronx, even if this movie focuses on the criminal element.
That's kind of the whole problem. Newman is clearly game for whatever. The film also has an interesting structure, with events that seem crucially important never being resolved. I can see that they were trying for a "real world" aspect, with horrible crimes just becoming one more unsolved mystery.
The tone shifts to be more about the cops, and the violence that such a stressful situation breeds. However, there's an air of Hollywood unreality that sorta permeates the film. Everything's a little too simple, the criminals a little too much like they walked off the set of "Starskey and Hutch."
The team wanted to do something interesting here, but the pieces don't quite fit.
This is an empty cop film driven only by Newman's performance, which does indeed actually drive the film pretty well. Overall, whatever, there are better movies out there to waste your time on.
there are obvious parallels to the 1948 john ford western "fort apache" which is cool if you're a film buff. sociologically/historically it's interesting for this snapshot of the south bronx circa 1981.
Paul Newman stars in this harsh portrait of a police station in a crumbling neighborhood. Newman plays John Murphy, a veteran policeman who's been on the force long enough to be tired, but not so lo...( read more read more... )ng that he's lost his idealism. The plot is loosely tied to the arrival of Connolly, the new precinct captain (Edward Asner). Is he a crusader who's going to finally whip a corrupt, apathetic force into shape, or an interloping by-the-book bureaucrat who can't possibly understand the neighborhood and will do more harm than good? The movie is gratifyingly ambiguous on this point and many others. While Newman's character is almost by default the hero, he is far from perfect--most all the major characters get complex personalities, just like real people. The Bronx itself is given complex, thoughtful treatment as well, full of both overwhelming problems and hope for the future. Fort Apache, the Bronx also has action sequences, but doesn't make the mistake of reveling in violence. Here, black and white are far less defined and, consequently, far more satisfying. --Ali Davis
Even though it sports a good cast, the film slips on some of its plot points (Pam Grier as a psychotic hooker) and the way it was shot, which reminds the viewer of a '80's TV movie. It does go above and beyond at times, but Fort Apache is a good flick if you want to see more Paul Newman.
The city is a jungle and we discover this through several, disconnected scenes that have little correlation with the plot. There's a scene where Newman delivers a baby for a young impoverished Puerto Rican woman that virtually goes nowhere. Pam Grier in a walk on role plays a murdering prostitute whom we follow for several scenes until she is killed off again leading nowhere and contributing little to the exposition. Ed Asner plays the new Captain at Fort Apache. He was affective but seldomly seen on screen.
The most intriguing aspect of the picture is Paul Newman who clearly is the star of the show here. His choice to play this character was exempliary of the roles he took during this time period. Absence of Malice and the Veridct being obvious connectives.
The idea was good but it was executed in a formulaic style which takes away from the picture which ultimately is held up by Newman's performance, the meditative view on New York and clever dialogue.