Posts Tagged ‘Secret Service’


Criminally Overlooked: “To Live and Die in L.A.”

March 17, 2010

The poster for To Live and Die in L.A. boasts “The director of the French Connection is back on the streets.” It’s a line that could set movie fans’ heart’s a-flutter. After all, Connection, beyond being possibly the best cops and robbers movie ever made (at least at the time), was also one of the seminal films of the 1970’s. And that’s probably part of the reason why TLaDiLA got plowed under at the box-office. Despite a plotline that seems to have been lifted from any number of Miami Vice episodes, and an edgy rock soundtrack, TLaDiLA is really a ‘70s movie in ‘80s movie clothing. Director William Friedkin turned his considerable talents and low-exposition/high-character-sketching style on a movie produced at the midpoint of a decade dedicated to movies that were bigger, dumber, and flashier. Never mind the fact that he produced something like a modern noir masterpiece. A few months earlier, Rambo: First Blood Part II had debuted. In its wake would follow Cobra, Commando, Action Jackson, and eventually Lethal Weapon. Audiences wanted explosions and not having to think. The movie never had a chance. But as you can probably imagine, I come here not to bury TLaDiLA, but to praise it as a movie which deserves better than it got.

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