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.
De Palma consistently has strong and excellent points in his films...that are then mixed with overdrawn camp...if he could have only gotten out of his way, especially in this movie he could have a had a truly great piece of cinema, instead he has a film here that mostly works but has serious clunks. 3.5