A great Brian dePalma movie that makes sound as important as the visual images. Travolta does one of his more engaging and memorable roles as a sound recordist while the diabolical and crazy John Lithgow steal scenes here. A devastating ending and brutal climax add to the power of the film.
Rewatch. This has always been the De Palma I would recommend to 'just anybody': It's probably his most fun, the violence is mostly implied, the plot actually makes sense, and it contains all the meta stuff that he's obsessed with (and happily the meta never draws too much attention to itself).
A nicely downbeat late-cycle paranoia conspiracy by a master magpie fluidly marshalling his borrowings. The myriad cross-references occasionally obscure the textural merits of the film with too many political and media signposts, none of which are profound - the recurring 'patriotic' colour palette is laid on thick. However it's brilliantly constructed - conducted even - and repays choice revisits for its sour view.
It's so relevant at the moment with everything going on in the world. Highly intense. Travolta in his best role, and the score is excellent - reminds me at times of the other great 1981 action film, Thief (Michael Mann). That being said, Nancy Allen is wasted and you sometimes think, 'she can't really be that dumb'. Regardless, it's still a special film - with a beautiful fireworks shot.
I will never understand the attraction to Brian De Palma. To me he is one of the most generic filmmakers out there. Ooh, look! He did a 360 camera pan! He wants to be Godard and Antonioni but he doesn't have the capacity. So we get this ridiculous Hollywood generic pablum that's supposed to resemble 'Blow Up'. Where are the goddamn clowns? He has no imagination.