The 90s was a shaky time for Friedkin's career.
My Logline: The investigation of the murder of a billionaire businessman leads a threatened assistant district attorney to the dark and mysterious world of sexual blackmail of the rich and the powerful, shockingly involving his love interest.
but really awesome movie.....
Her husbands niave for a lawyer.
who murdered who? who did what with whom? its a crazy trip from one side of upper Pacific to North Beach area.
Oh sure, there are characters, and they want things and feel betrayals and go about the motions of the script, and there's some dirty sex here and there (mostly caught on grainy voyeuristic radio), but I don't know if I really gave a dam about most of the main characters. The actors are probably trying to, especially David Caruso as he mostly tries to underplay what could have been scenery-chewing times for another actor. But they also are kind of prisoners of a screenplay that is just... I don't know, except that while some of the dialog isn't terrible, some of it is. Some of it made me cringe, and some of it had me laughing.
So why the high rating? Why recommend it even partially? Because Friedkin is still at the helm, and he has fun here. And in ways I wasn't quite expecting. Sometimes he'll just mess with the actors on set - there's a cat that appears in the hallway of where the cops walk around, and I can be pretty sure that wasn't a detail outlined in the script (and it's a fine detail to throw in there). And there is a car chase - roll eyes, again, from Friedkin, can't he do that in his sleep - and it's STILL unique to his world. This time he has some kind of perverse enjoyment with a) having just over-the-top car stunts as cars fly through the air practically on San Fransisco streets, and then going 2 miles an hour in a Chinatown parade where the bcitizens attack both the predator and prey!
What happens then in this story of backstabbing and murder and "deviant" sex and politics and so on, real pulpy - nay, just pot-boiler material - is that the simple style of it, how the direction is oddly elegant and experimental in some small ways, makes what is otherwise crap watchable. Maybe I'll even revisit it at 3 in the morning on cable.