The first two thirds were great but the theatrical cut, apparently 'mutliated by producers', ends with an incoherent final third which feels like a there's a reel or two missing. Still, Cimino's (RIP) bigger than life aesthetic is superbly showcased, so cinematic that you forget the film mostly takes place in a few rooms. Rourke is great in this, why was he razzie nominated? David Morse's death scene is EPIC.
Not a god-awful film. There are moments that swerve from the very poetic and intriguing to what might be Cimino's best work at unintentional (?) comedy (the strange moment for instance where Lindsay Crouse and her subordinate hold flashlights in each other's faces for no real reason, or where the FBI have canvas portraits of the cast up like glamor headshots).
Just from that moment at the beginning, when the camera lasciviously moves up Kelly Lynch's legs when she gets out the car, you know this isn't gonna be a good film. Bertolucci -even Friedkin- could have made a perverse and sexy film, where identities are tested and turned inside out in the pressure cooker situation; but Cimino chooses to focus on the reconciliation of the hostage family instead of their splintering.