Despite the presence of a likeable Tom Hanks, a magnetic Audrey Tautou and an EEEEEVIL Paul Bettany (playing yet another religious figure), not nearly enough happens to justify its near three-hour running time.
Another concentration-camp flick from Brian Trenchard-Smith, though a damn sight more sedate than the terrors of Turkey Shoot. Perhaps too much so, as the only thing really keeping the ‘residents’ of the Star Drive-In within its electrified fences is the fact that the outside world is far worse, freedom be damned. The social commentary is blunt, though it still rings true today, and it’s definitely a saving grace - that and its suitably grimy atmosphere. Yet I can’t help feeling there’s a more exciting film at the other end of the road, in the war on the streets between the tow-truck scrappers and roving gangs of ‘car boys’ that’s only teased at in the first 10 minutes, and can’t not have been in the mind of George Miller when he was writing Fury Road.
An intrepid journalist (Warren Beatty) goes up against a sinister corporation in this conspiracy thriller from Alan J Pakula, who would give us a more triumphant ending with his similarly themed, truth-stranger-than-fiction story All The President’s Men two years later. That film is rightly lauded, but it doesn’t have the Hitchcockian tension, vague sci-fi trappings and general sense of unease that make The Parallax View so compelling.
Funny to consider James Caan’s master thief in Michael Mann’s debut feature is even more of an anti-hero now than he was back in the day, what with his loose way with racial epithets a la Dirty Harry, and his, well, less than ethical treatment of his love interest (Tuesday Weld). Sure, the film does lay out why he’s such a hardened individual, but explanation is no excuse.