If only the scriptwriters could have done more to punch up the story to match the superior acting talent, this might be a classic.
It's the invention of the buddy cop trope that gets Stray Dog it's spot as a Criterion release.
In all, this is a good, not great film by a studio that's in the sophomore slump. They could hit a winner out more often, if they weren't concentrating on getting everyone to first base.
Drunken Angel is a flawed, but brilliant first film by one of the world's greatest directors. Knowing he is this good when he started out makes me hopeful for a future I already know.
It's Shimura who steals this story, though. His performance connects the viewer to the humanity of some of the fiercest combatants of the Western world in a format we all can relate to, no matter the barrier.
If we could keep it all within the confines of Ferness, life would be perfect. Even if the town is open to another deal.
The real conspiracy is, with the editing style and stupid storytelling, people just don't like watching a bad film. Well, maybe some people. The Columbine killers code named their attack "NBK."
The result is a good, not great first script. There are two fantastic moments and many good ones to boot. It's not much more than that, even as Tarantino's legend rises beyond what anyone imagined.
See it if you want to see the kind of film Cruise made before he completely took control of his career. It's not worth sitting through otherwise, just to hum along.
The only other film I have seen of Bernedal's is The Possession, which is a wholesale improvement. He is able to concentrate on atmosphere and leave the script to someone else. One can see the connections between here and there. I would prefer to be there.