THE MIX IS DANGEROUS, THE ROMANCE IS SIZZLING, THE ACTION ISEXPLOSIVE WITH THREE OF THE MOST EXCITING PERFORMERS ON SCREENAT ANY ONE TIME.A COOL, CUNNING DRAMA OF FRIENDSHIP AND BETRAYAL, A SEDUCTIVE BLEND OF ACTION AND ROMANCE.
Robert Towne is one of Hollywood's most celebrated screenwriters, but because his directorial efforts have been few and far between, anticipation was high when this star-powered crime story was released in 1988. Critical reaction was decidedly mixed, but there's plenty to admire in this silky, visually seductive film about a drug dealer (Mel Gibson) whose best friend from high-school (Kurt Russell) is now working for the Los Angeles sheriff's drug detail. Their personal and professional conflicts are intensified by their love for the same woman, a waitress (Michelle Pfeiffer) at the Italian restaurant they both frequent. There's a big deal going down with a drug lord (the late Raul Julia), but as it twists and turns, Towne's story is really more about personal loyalties and individual honor. And even if it doesn't quite hold together, the movie's got a fantastic look to it (courtesy of the great cinematographer Conrad Hall), and the three stars bring depth and dimension to their well-written roles. --Jeff Shannon