If Thief may not entirely earn the gravitas it all but groans with, God knows it looks the part. The weight James Caan carries on his Chicago-sized shoulders only grows as the stakes get higher and his associates shade sketchier, while the ink-black gutters, lining nights numbed null with neon, glimmer and shiver as if cut with a thousand diamonds and left to bleed dry. Tuesday Weld kills as a rueful beauty ruining.
An intense, neon-lit, existential character-study; as much about the psychology of the imprisoned mind as the more obvious crime story theatrics. Frank is a character who finds himself being slowly incarcerated by circumstance; his need for freedom forcing him down a path of almost Samurai-like self-cleansing through violent self-destruction. The first flicker of Mann as American cinema's preeminent modernist master.
More like a 3, but when you have Tangerine Dream ringing over over-sized phallic drill bits piercing bank vaults, circular saws busting up buildings, and car lots burning in pools of gasoline, it raises the bar.
Sometimes on a Friday, you just need some Michael Mann: honorable crooks, awash in neon synths, gazing forever into the blue (very blue) yonder. Mann takes the cliches of action/film noir seriously—he fleshes out the runtime as though he's sure this material is as weighty as any genteel drama. And who knows, maybe he's right. At this point, I wonder if there's anything he can't do, except write a credible woman.
A stunning debut from Mann. A lot to say about this: James Caan's performance, Tangerine Dream's pure '80s score, the cinematography, the heist scenes, the storyline, sound, etc. Crime drama has never been this better! I am glad to be back on track with exploring Mann's works, and I must say this is at his best. Small or big world out there, though.
Mann's first film revelled in the great American cinema of the 70's that inspired it but added his own artful aesthetic that would become his trademark neon lit worldview. A great score by Tangerine Dream and some wonderful cinematography from Donald Thorin made this something special to behold. And world weary turns by Caan and Weld added greatly as did a mesmerizing debut by Robert Prosky. Great early work.
Rififi's grandson,set in a later era where the technology has drastically changed and yet, like in Jules Dassin's film, the underworld is full of sharks with no discrepancies for attacking men who, for their crimes, only desire good lives by the end of it. I also wish the 80s, neon-soaked, Tangerine Dream scored Michael Mann still existed, able to take such aspects and make very cinematic films with them.
Loved the fuck out of this one. It has the Melville's elegancy but with its own voice and style. With this extraordinary crime drama Mann left his mark in American cinema and god only knows how Thief makes Drive look like a teenaged film. Beyond its visuals and colours and rhythm, this: how exceptionally Cassavetian Caan's performance was! With no doubt, a real 80's treasure.