JH just passed and this is what I choose... I dug the beginning, what with the oversteering car-chase in slo-mo... but the relationships were never fleshed out. It's a spy movie, so wait for the betrayal twist. I did notice some weird/lazy editing (Hauer's bat goes through the same window twice, even tho h's in another room)... Bah!
If there was ever a film plot that made absolutely no sense, this was it. And apart from "Convoy", this would be the best showcase of late Peckinpah's struggle to find a new topic to exploit and overdose with unnecessary slow-motions. Guys in convoy were at least pleasant, this tends to overdose with it's fascination of video-pepping. Referring it to television critique later on is just plain despair.
Why this isn't considered one of Peckinpah's best, I will never know! Yes, the political conspiracy plot is flawed and full of glaring holes but does that really matter in the long run? With the evidence of the dark knight trilogy and the star trek movies, I think a modern audiences can forgive a flawed story if there's more at work. And baby, this movie delivers! Such a hilarious play on friendship dynamics! Loved.
Far from the old days of glory when this filmmaker could shock, unbalance or move us. You could tell he wasn't really into the story at all, though I can't blame him for that, in the everything seems so futile and silly. The only good points are the ensemble cast and some of Bloody Sam's trademark slow motion action scenes. Unintriguing, forgettable.
Emotionally and dramatically, this film is completely hollow, but it's said that Peckinpah gave it his all and I can believe it. The fast-cutting/slow motion car chase and breathtakingly sleazy murder scene would have pride of place in any of his works. First rate filmmaking makes a second rate movie out of third rate material. Peckinpah can't quite transcend trash, but he can make it engaging, almost fascinating.
Could have been a good political thriller if it was believable. Bad acting, and unconvincing. How these people were all friends at one point because they couldn't be more diametrically opposed to each other. Too bad for Peckinpah's final film. One big pissing match is all this is. What's with with the surveillance footage with actual production values (editing and closeups coming from hidden cameras)?
Paranoid thriller about the power of images and political manipulations. John Hurt, as the Great Manipulator and the alter ego of director Sam Peckinpah, creates a new reality meant to deceive. He's also an observer, a witness, like Peckinpah, of the bursts of violence that accentuate this first-rate movie. Highly recommended.