Man, I cannot get enough of these Poliziotteschi films. I think this is my fourth Di Leo film, and they are all highly entertaining genre films. They might not have the best acting, but the camera work is inventive, the action thrilling, and the leading man is awesome. Luc Merenda is badass. Definitely pictures of their time.
I would have given this 4 stars if the last 20 minutes weren't such an overwrought mess. Visually, this is a rather bland affair but the story is a potent one. And the action sequences... well, they don't do it like that anymore, do they? The car chases, while very much of their time, are so visceral and exciting, no green screen and CGI can come close. All in all, minor Di Leo, but still terrific entertainment.
My first time seeing a Di Leo film and it certainly a good start. Shoot First, Die Later is appropriately over the top and pulpy for a 70's crime thriller, and it deals with corruption and vengeance in a way that clearly left a mark on directors like Tarantino. Can this film live up to the masterpieces from Scorsese or Coppola? Not quite. Is it still great in it's own right? Of course.
Wow, MUBI. That was bad. What were you thinking? Negative stereotypes of homosexuals with rampant homophobia. Kill, car chase, kill, explosion, kill, kill, car chase, kill, kill and the tag at the end of this glorification of violence is "Hey kids, don't commit crimes"? How low can you go? And what's with all these 4 star ratings?
Exceptional di Leo. On a 1-10 scale, 'd give it an 8.5 or 9. Terrific action, betrayals, raw but believable violence, and vivid, distinctive secondary characters. Two great car chases, di Leo's taut directing. Falls short of Coppola and Scorsese due to thinner emotional content and the transcendent acting of the Godfathers and Goodfellas, but still a terrific 70s gangster flick.
Luc Merenda: a dapper playboy with a swift karate chop is the corrupt commissioner of police. Almost the Italian James Bond but not quite. Released the same year as The Man with the Golden Gun, I can imagine audiences attending this strange double feature. In 1974, Italy was caught between neo-fascists, militant students, autonomous worker confederations and radical women. This must have been the perfect antidote.
Exciting seventies Italian crime thriller from director Fernando Di Leo that finds Luc Merenda playing a corrupt cop pushed too far then wanting bloody revenge. The misogynist and homophobic tones of the time period are a little much too take at times but one must view it as a product of its times. Merenda is quite good here as is Richard Conte in a late career performance.
There is no denying that this is a hell of a fun movie. It is begging to be taken seriously as a cautionary tale. However, it is brimming over with so much menace that one can't help but laugh a little. There is a particularly great and unintentionally funny scene for which PETA would never approve. Kitsch aside, the groovy production values and music are a blast from the past.