Starting from an implausible conceit - Arkansas firemen Paxton and Sadler lay their mitts on a map to stolen gold possibly hidden in a derelict East St Louis factory - this concerns the greedy pair's attempts to escape, alive and much the richer, from a black drugs gang who use the building for making deals and dumping corpses. Cue stereotyped characters, lashings of violence, fallings-out in the rival camps (with crack-king Ice T facing challenges from would-be usurper Ice Cube), and a tortuous plot that spirals inexorably from the ingenious to the ludicrously overblown. Everything subscribes to the modish: the moral cynicism, the superfluous use of video, the rap soundtrack, the flip aftermath to the fiery carnage of the finale. Perhaps that's the result of an uneasy meeting of disparate talents: scriptwriters Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis are known for frantic action and slick twists, Hill (at least in his early, better films) for laconic, mythic heroes, pared-down plotting and sudden bursts of violence. For the undemanding, it may seem a fair stand-off; but compared to Hill's best work, it's merely a jerk-off.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale|
Bruce A Young