Having built a creditable reputation by standing slightly to one side of his action material and looking at it from a different angle, Hill finally comes clean and delivers a down-the-line thriller, plain, fast and efficient. After losing his gun to some low-life, cop Nolte springs a black ex-member of the gang (Murphy) from jail to help him, and has just 48 HRS in which to recover his piece and wrap up the case. Superfly Murphy proves the perfect foil for the gruff, shambling Nolte; together they shoot it out with what looks suspiciously like the remnants of the street gangs from The Warriors, while thankfully sidestepping most of the old buddy-buddy pitfalls. For the first time, Hill gives himself enough time to allow a fair amount of fast-talk dialogue through his usually gritted teeth, and enough space to pay his respects to such sources as Peckinpah and Siegel. It takes an honourable place in a line of San Francisco thrillers from Point Blank through Bullitt and Dirty Harry to Killer Elite. CPea.