2 firemen in a burning building get a treasure map. Stolen gold church items are hidden in a closed down factory in St. Louis. Once there, they're trapped in by a black gang considering it their territory. Lots of shooting.
Four friends on their way to a boxing match get caught in heavy traffic, so they take a shortcut in order to get there faster, unfortunately it leads to them witnessing a murder which leaves them running for their lives.
Cuba Gooding Jr.,
A homeless man is hired as a survival guide for a group of wealthy businessmen on a hunting trip in the mountains, unaware that they are killers who hunt humans for sport, and that he is their new prey.
Two Arkansas firemen, Vince and Don, get hold of a map that leads to a cache of stolen gold in an abandoned factory in East St. Louis. What they don't know is that the factory is in the turf of a local gang, who come by to execute one of their enemies. Vince sees the shooting, the gang spots Vince, and extended mayhem ensues. As Vince and Don try to escape, gang leader King James argues with his subordinate Savon about how to get rid of the trespassers.Written by
Jesse Garon <email@example.com>
According to Walter Hill, the idea to have so much of the movie shot through video tape came as they were getting ready to shoot. He read an article in the Washington Post about street gangs who would film a lot of their own activities:
"I simply saw it as a visual opportunity to play a lot of the movie through a viewfinder. I thought it might get you inside the gang better... I wanted everything to be rough around the edge. We shot most of the movie hand held... I wanted it to be herky-jerky. We Dutched a lot of the angles, especially as the story unfolds because the story gets crazier and crazier. We went from a less elegant-the early parts of the movie, there are no hand helds at all-but as the story gets more nervous and crazy, we go more and more to a hand held thing until, finally, the end of the movie is all entirely hand held". See more »
1990s cell phones were far less powerful than those of the 21st century. While it is a cleaver idea to use them as walkie talkies, the fact their signals would have be transmitted outside of the factory and then back in to be received as well the extant metal inside the building would have rendered them nearly useless. See more »
Now wait a minute, old man, you know a way out of here we split the gold three ways!
That's not what you said a minute ago!
A minute ago we was all dead!
See more »
One of Walter Hills' most potent and entertaining films.
Indeed, veteran action specialist Walter Hill "goes gangsta" in this stylized thrill ride. It blurs the lines between "good" guys and "bad" guys; the protagonists are not squeaky clean, and the antagonists are not purely one-dimensional - not all of them, anyway. An assortment of colorful characters and solid performances add to the entertainment value of a film that ultimately builds to a real fever pitch. The pacing is truly excellent, along with the atmosphere and the typically eclectic music score by Hills' old pal, Ry Cooder.
Bill Paxton (Rest in Peace, sir) and William Sadler are Vince and Don, two Arkansas firemen who get wind that the treasure from a long ago church robbery has been socked away inside a now decrepit wreck of an apartment building. Wouldn't you know it: soon after Vince and Don arrive at the place, a gang of very tough black drug pushers arrive to use the place to execute a traitorous member of their crew. Vince witnesses the act, leading to a completely untenable situation where the main thing keeping Vince and Don alive is the fact that they've taken Lucky (De'voreaux White, "Die Hard"), the younger brother of gang leader King James (rapper / actor Ice-T), prisoner.
While you don't necessarily root for any one team in particular, you do understand where certain characters are coming from. King James really does have genuine concern for his sibling, while Vince is a more naive and somewhat more reasonable person than Don, who's determined to have the trip be worth something. Drawn into the fray is a homeless man named Bradlee (Art Evans, "Fright Night") who's been squatting in the building. Naturally, the whole argument comes up over who exactly has the most right to the gold.
Particularly riveting are the dynamics between key characters, as both Vince & Don, and King James & his right hand man, Savon (Ice Cube), argue over methodology.
The action comes fast and furious, with Hill drawing us into one tense and effective sequence after another. The stunts and special effects are first rate, and the soundtrack, consisting of Cooders' score and a selection of rap tunes (including a kick ass duet by Ice-T and Ice Cube), is consistently catchy. The mostly black cast includes some very solid character actors: Bruce A. Young ("Jurassic Park III"), Glenn Plummer ("Speed"), Stoney Jackson ("Streets of Fire"), 'Tiny' Lister ("Friday"), et al.
It's a shame that this was actually a flop in its time. 25 years later, it still works quite well, with a finale that truly brings the house down.
Written, and executive produced, by Bob Gale & Robert Zemeckis.
Eight out of 10.
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