Quite easily the most violent, foul-mouthed and truly nasty of current gangster movies. It might be charitable to say that Ferrara, who made the reasonably decent Cat Chaser, is doing a Scarface by pointing up the designer nature of modern urban crime, its brutality and ethnic mixture, and its attempts to infiltrate the mainstream. Certainly, in the person of Walken, spare, elegant, slightly spaced and lording it over a black/hispanic gang, the film has an impressively charismatic central character: the kind of powerbroker who does favours for the poor and makes love on subway trains, but still manages the right burst of psychosis when dealing with racist rivals, Chinese nasties, or treacherous black brothers. Sadly, his performance is wasted on a film which, despite splendid location work, lurches sloppily and messily from kill to kill, orgy to orgy, coke to crack, cliché to cliché.
Cast and crew