Counselor at Crime

Counselor at Crime ★★★

Counselor at Crime is Alberto De Martino's Godfather rip off. The film mostly takes place in San Francisco and focuses on a mob boss who decides to grant his godson's wish to leave the family business, which ultimately triggers a gang war. The story is fast paced and mostly interesting, but there's not much attempt to build any of the characters outside of thin caricature imitations of their Mario Puzo counterparts. The film is not the constant action spectacle that many will expect from the Poliziotteschi genre, although there are a few car chases and shootouts; aswell as some moments of violence, including a viscious stabbing, someone being thrown into an oven alive and a little girl is blown up in what is probably the film's most memorable moment. Some aspects are lifted wholesale from The Godfather, including a scene where someone is shot up inside a car and a relocation of the action to Scicily for the final third. It's a nice change of scenery for the ending, and the actual conclusion itself is strong. Martin Balsam makes for a surprisingly likable mob boss, while Tomas Milian sleepwalks through his role. Not the best genre entry, but certainly not the worst.

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