I loved the first part of this, which I thought that, with its excessive patriotism used to the point of absurdity, would, in some way, come around to be exploited. but it isn't - instead, america is shown as better than mexico in every way. it's so well made, though. I personally just wish its heart would be in a different place.
This is one very underrated film. William Devane gives a stellar performance as a Vietnam vet with PTSD who is thrown into even more stressful situations. There's an early badass Tommy Lee Jones in this too. The 70s were a great time for filmmaking because you could get any kind of film made and a lot of times it was some of the best work you've ever seen.
The decade in which the American cinema has purged the traumas of its society, pretending to be exorcism which most often were no more than triviality. Taking advantage of this "mal de vivre", Schrader is once again responsible for a racist script, justifying the purpose to achieve the means, incurring in that inversion in a repeated fascist exposition, in this case minimized by an inoperative realization.
Stoic characterization works wonders, keeping the Devane character grounded and realistic due to his deep torment. Rolling Thunder is a gritty and nasty revenge film with a final sequence that slightly recalls the famous action-orgy crescendo of The Wild Bunch. Obvious as a shotgun blast in its now-dated setup and formula, but at times it has the empathetic impact of one, too. Rare happy ending for the genre, also.
Combines the classic revenge plot, road movie, action, and war veteran drama. Paul Schrader's screenplay reminded me little bit of TAXI DRIVER, especially the ending, but this is Schrader at his rarest work. The film could have been more entertaining if added little more action-packed moments, overall it was a fine '70s revenge drama I've seen. Also featured one of Tommy Lee Jones' earliest roles as well.
Blues, disenchantment and difficulties of communication are some of the themes that haunted the American cinema of the 70's. William Devane and an already constipated Tommy Lee Jones, with hair, could well be the archetypes of the heroes of this cinema that will soon die and be replaced by the flashy bad taste of the films of the 80's. Recommended.
The direction is fairly inspired, and knowing Schrader's penchant for an above average meditation on violence around this time, the picture is slightly elevated above a mere revenge fantasy number. Here, we see at least glimmers of the hollowness and anticlimactic truth of violence as vengeance. Thankfully, it doesn't try to indulge in many glamorous clichés, though it could've dug deeper into the Devane character.
B-movie heaven. An unjustly neglected revenge classic with a simple but compelling plot that sets up William Deveane and Tommy Lee Jones in low key, no nonsense performances, leading up to a bloodbath reminiscent of "The wild bunch". As gritty and heartbreaking as almost anything written by Paul Schrader.
Another angry Vietnam vet film from writer Paul Schrader, and while it was released after Taxi Driver, my guess is that this one was written first. Like that film, this one straddles the line between art and exploitation, this time leaning more toward exploitation. Entertaining and well acted.. It is also a very good looking film, with cinematography by the dependable Jordan Cronenwelth. 3.5
A near perfect film. The only flaws I can think of are the hideous theme song ("San Antone, it's really good to see you"... YUCK!) and the relationship between Devane and Haynes isn't as fleshed out as one would like. But other than those minor complaints, this is yet another kick-ass movie from the great screenwriter Paul Schrader, who gave us such masterpieces as Taxi Driver, Obsession, and Hardcore. A must-see!