"Do you want the Red or the White?"
The Term Gritty may be Overused but it is not an Overstatement to callthis Film just that. New York City in the Days before its DisneyesqueClean-Up looks like Anything but an Inviting Tourist Spot. You canalmost Smell the Stench. Even the Upscale Hotel and Restaurant seem tohave a Patina of Smog Residue.
Inserted in this Milieu are two Narcotic Cops, the Real Life PopeyeDoyle begs the Birth of a Never Ending Populace of Harry Callahan andMartin Riggs Types who use Their Lethal Weapons with DeterminedReckless Abandon getting down in the Dirt to Dispose of Scum.
The Movie is Purposely Grainy, but Stunning and with Sharp ContrastEmbodies a Cool almost Colorless Cityscape that is Muted by the Muck.Gene Hackman's Performance garnered Praise and an Oscar and RoyScheider, as His Soft Spoken Partner who says a lot with just a Look isExcellent. The Ground-Breaking Pace, mostly through Editing and itsSporadic Eruption of Violence as Punctuations, along with a HeightenedNoir Realism made this one a Stand-Out in its Time.
Not without some things to Gripe about, and it has had its Share ofDissenters over Time, mostly from Those who have been Anesthetized byDecades of Imitators who Turn Up the Juice on just about Every LevelYear after Year. There is the Warping of Time in the Car DismantlingScene and the Ending is not the Best and is a bit Clunky and Contrived.