Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. USA, 1984. United Artists. Screenplay by Vincent Patrick, based on his novel. Cinematography by John Bailey. Produced by Gene Kirkwood, Hawk Koch. Music by Dave Grusin. Production Design by Paul Sylbert. Costume Design by Joseph G. Aulisi. Film Editing by Robert Brown. Academy Awards 1984.
Great character study whose shoddy plotting and weak direction is overcome by two sterling performances. Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts are terrific as New York City tough guys who desperately want to be worthy of a Martin Scorsese gangster epic but can only manage to barely make an impression on their neighbours. After Roberts gets Rourke fired from his restaurant job for gambling with the boss’s money, he comes up with a scheme that will make them both rich and allow Rourke to move to the country with his aerobics-instructor girlfriend (Daryl Hannah): they will rob a safe of thousands of dollars that Roberts insists is an easy job. Unfortunately, things go awry when a much more serious crime occurs during the heist and the mob boss to whom the money belongs gets wise to their activity. Geraldine Page has a terrific couple of scenes as a cop’s bitter, miserable mother, but the show belongs to the two guys who play a scintillating game of acting tennis with each other.