A French terrorist nicknamed The Black Angel (Ivan Rassimov) and his elite gang of criminal allies go head to head against Inspector Vanni (Marcel Bozzuffi - Charnier's hit-man from The French Connection) and his equally elite squad of four special agents. The Black Angel having stolen a load of dynamite intends to hold Turin to ransom, as he indiscriminately sets off his bombs killing innocent civilians, whilst playing a game of cat and mouse with his arch nemesis, Vanni. Time is running out, but the .38 Special Squad are hot on The Black Angel's heels...
This is one well made film. Dallamano was one hell of a cinematographer (see things like Fistful Of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More) and he carried his eye behind the camera over when he started directing. With this particular example coming across as hard as nails.. but it's not all car chases, fist fights and shoot-outs (although they regularly feature here), because Dallamano attempts to keep it real, and so instead of exploiting the brutality on hand to make it look cool and exciting for the viewer, he instead spends time investing in his characters, his plot and the aftermath, so that you feel a certain hollow loss or disgust when things inevitably get messy. Very little integral action is glamorised here and innocent parties fall just as hard as the less than innocent ones, certainly when they take a bullet (or shrapnel) to the chest.
Ultimately, plot-wise this is about an insane bomber who is trying to get even with a city, because his brother was killed by a cop...... Sound familiar? Yeah sure it does. But it's about a hundred times better than childish Hollywood candy-floss, like Die Hard With A Vengeance.
On a happier note this film is a recommended thriller. Gripping and hard boiled. It's action packed and has a bonus in the way of some amusing discotheque dancing sequences. If there was J&B whisky on display, somehow I missed it. Which meant for an Italian crime thriller, the world I was exploring felt somehow off kilter, but then Ivan Rassimov went and slapped about some woman and everything was brought back to normality. Phew!
Interestingly, if not rather bizarrely, Grace Jones, has an uncredited cameo in this as a club singer.
Another interesting factoid being that the guns the Special Squad use aren't Colt .38s at all!! As you can see from the picture they are clearly .357 Llama Comanches, so not even close to being Colts. The Llama Comanche being a Spanish knock off of the Smith & Wesson.
Anyhoo I suppose 'Llama Comanche .357 Special Squad' was a bit of a mouthful as a title, so instead they lied.
This one stars Maurizio Merli as Nick, a retired cop who reluctantly agrees to help his ex-partner, who is now a freelance bodyguard. From there things go wrong and Nick ends up placing himself under-cover, working alongside Interpol in Berlin, as he attempts to find out who is behind the Venetian hit. Unfortunately the baddies aren't as dumb as they look though and are suspicious of Nick from the off, and things become even more complicated when Nick begins to fall for Vivian, a female ranking officer within the criminal organisation...
This was a decent pulp thriller. Nothing more, nothing less. Average of it's ilk but entertaining throughout. Merli still looks good, even in this latter euro-crime thriller, and you know what you're gonna get with Stelvio Massi at the helm.. Fairly entertaining low brow action and lots of it. Merli fights, he shoots, he picks up birds, he runs, he jumps, he drives fast etc etc. Proving he's still the toughest Italian Dirty Harry clone in the biz. At one point early on he jumps through a stained glass window in slow motion - that was pretty sweet, plus there's a car chase on some ice and snow. In fact I quite liked the snowy Berlin and Venetian locations, they were neat. Definitely worth a watch for an also ran.
A disaffected cop who has lost his way to drink through little fault of his own is given a chance at redemption and to prove his worth again to the force, when it transpires his appearance draws a dangerous ex-military, urban terrorist, Major Capra, out into the open. Turns out the cop, Raoul Maury, looks very much like Colonel Keiffer, an ex-military man turned armed robber who is coveted by Capra but who was believed to be hiding in Venezuela. So he must go under cover and when acquainted with Major Capra, kill him at the first opportunity; however Capra smells a rat...
Excellent. I really enjoyed this. The cast is a very strong one and it is littered with no end of cool moments. The basic premise of an undercover cop in a perilous situation is not a new one but here it is handled in such a way that it becomes a natural catalyst to tension and unpredictable set pieces. Often the film fails to flesh out important character actions or explain why certain choices are made but I found this just further worked in its favour. These almost oblique qualities adding to its style and it’s character interactions. Such a solid cast: Maurice Ronet, Mario Adorf, Bruno Cremer, Anny Duperey, Marina Malfatti and last but not least Solange Pradel, as a beer mat flipping prostitute.
Not without bursts of action, it is still no doubt worth mentioning that those hoping to see big explosions and endless gun play will be disappointed.
Inevitably the car chases and stunts are by Team Remy Julienne.
JCVD, the 2008 Belgian crime drama film based on Jean-Claude van Damme. A "semi" fiction account where he tries to rob an office. He only made the movie, maybe to break the stereotype of being the hero all the time to show the world that he was struggling. Weird
Post by Arch Stanton on Sept 12, 2019 14:58:29 GMT
Le Battant (1981)
Alain Delon is released from prison after 8 years. The diamonds he stole have never been recovered. France's rougher answer to Colombo is watching him like a hawk, as are a group of killers, who've been hired by an unknown, shadowy underworld adversary who's also interested in locating the stones...
This is a mixed bag. Delon co-directed this and overall does a reasonable job of copying certain French directors/themes who have generally done this sort of thing better before. So the plotting and integrity of the film seems a little false at times, although it happily ticks a bunch of boxes and there are some good moments. The story is a little reminiscent of The Sweeney episode: Poppy, albeit set in France, and it is also possibly worth noting for the initiated that Robin Davis and Delon worked on the unfairly underrated, 'Le Choc', the year before There's a couple of fine looking, nubile French fillies in this (Marie-Christine Descouard & Anne Parillaud) who get their kit off but ultimately serve little purpose other than to help cement Delon's image as this super-cool badass.
If you like the genre, then you can't really go wrong here, even though there are better, similar films out there. I enjoyed it.