Neither the glittering sequel to Chinatown nor the expected mess that its distribution troubles and production history would suggest, this is often pretty good and never less than intriguing. The problem is the plot, which is dense indeed - a Robert Towne hallmark - and a recent viewing of the Polanski might come in handy. Jake Gittes (Nicholson) is still the loyal gumshoe, and eleven years on, remains in thrall to his tragic past. 'You might think you know what's going on, but you don't,' the bent real estate developer Jake Berman (Keitel) tells him, after which the gumshoe lights a cigarette and is blown sky high, confirming the statement. Chinatown was conspiratorial about water, the sequel concerns oil. Both women in the case (Tilly and Stowe) move in mysterious ways. LA earth tremors interrupt the action at random, bringing a surreal air to social interchange. It's beautifully acted with a fine '40s feel to it, and lingers in the mind long after you've left the cinema.
Cast and crew