Top critical review
Tough, gritty look at how things were done circa 1981...
on April 25, 2016
This is a fairly decent classic B movie without the condescending T&A. From the outset, it wants you to root for the 'bad guy' because he's just stealing from the uber wealthy. When someone wants to muscle in on his take and 'steal' from him, it becomes personal. The technology is outdated for anyone born after 1990...so, not likely to find an audience there...
If you have followed James Caan (can't believe the billing of my review 'dialog' says "Thief (new line) James Belushi" as if this isn't a James Caan film!) for many years and haven't seen this film, you will want to see it. Otherwise, it is tough to recommend...particularly to a 'younger' generation, who may recognize his voice as "Flint's Dad" in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Caan's best role is still (IMO) Brian Piccolo next to Billy Dee Williams in "Brian's Song." This movie is okay, but no Brian's Song by far. If you're an 'old schooler' then the ancient technology and lack of 'computers' in hacking the security of a building probably won't bother you, but anything as recent as the mid-90s is going to seem light years ahead of this piece.
I recently watched it 'for free' on Prime because I hadn't seen it in quite some time (at least a couple of decades or more).
Watch it if you're a Tuesday Weld fan. Watch it if you're a Willie Nelson fan. He is the only person in the 'play' that seems genuinely 'engaged' with the other actor during the dialog scenes. If you're a Robert Prosky fan, then you have to watch it. One of my favorite lines of all times is when he delivers a "You can't polish a turd" from Christine. And, if you liked him in The Last Action Hero, you can start to appreciate his range.
Overall the movie is very so-so. Back in 1981 is was a lot more interesting and exciting. Today, with the recent James Bond and Mission Impossible sequels, it is tough to compare this to 'modern' action movies. It is a bit more 'raw' in some ways, so that preserves it somewhat. Watch it because you're a fan of some of the actors in it, not because it is the best movie on the planet.