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Unlike anything I've seen in the noir-genre. Unique for all of it's contradictions: stylistically in the mixture of noir and melodrama, and thematically for the contrast of majesty and sleaze. Also, visually interesting use of nervous steady-cam shots,
I feel conflicted about this. On one hand, Walter Hill has created a visually rich and musically engaging old-school(though not at the time) action flick. Nolte and Murphy gave incredible chemistry and SF is treated as third star. However, it is extremely hard to get over how incredibly racist, sexist and just plain offensive the ideas are in this film. It is certainly a product of it's time, and that in itself is fascinating, but it has certainly not aged well. What was once risquÃ (C) now comes off as being simply mean-spirited.
A great film for kids that will satisfy adults as well. On top of the predictably fine animation is a commendable level of tastefully restrained jokes and observation on morality. I was particularly struck by the absence of pandering to gross gender/age/class generalizations that often plague children's films. Classy, touching and genuinely funny.
Stark, beautiful and touching. Both the cinematography and the performances are mesmerizingly good.