Amanda >:)’s review published on Letterboxd:
“This isn’t good-cop bad-cop, this is fag and New Yorker. You’re in a lot of trouble.”
The preformces in this were great, especially RDJ’s. I wish this movie was longer; I could have sat through at least another half-hour of these characters.
I’ve been watching/rewatching a lot of Shane Black movies lately and, I’ll tell you what, I am fascinated. His work is the perfect topic for my intersectional obsession with cinema and sociology. The further my education in those topics go, the more it enthralls me. He also offers variety in his work, while still including his repeating signature details. He’s funny in a brilliant way; not just perfect one-liners and good timing, but using such oddly specific detail that you cannot help but laugh. The “I Will Survive” ringtone and the GATO! drawing are comedic gold.
Shane Black, as I have addressed in previous reviews, was ahead of his times when it comes to social correctness (or whatever you’d like to call it), including race, sexuality and gender themes in all of his work; but he does this subtly, as to not make it the focus of the movie yet still addressing these issues which successfully normalizes conversation about them. This is surprising given the time in which these films were made. This film in particular, a typical noir, places the existentialism and cynicism on Harry’s criminal past and tendency to get into trouble rather than making him a sexist asshole, which easily could have been done and disguised as a character quirk. He was socially aware when he did not have to be. This displays just how talented he is; he writes with purpose, actually showing that the character a good guy deep down instead of passing off misogyny as a little flaw to be ignored: this is evident in all of his films when sexual assault/harassment is brought up. He still makes crude jokes, but the difference is he combats them immediately after with a character’s line or action that contradicts the offensive nature of the joke. As somebody who comes from an Indigenous family, I appreciate when Native Americans are referred to as so and not as “Indian” BECAUSE THIS ISN’T INDIA WHO CARES IF COLUMBUS SAID IT WAS CENTURIES AGO; so when this terminology was used in this film, it did not pass me by.
This, as I have said before, proves that a film can appeal to all genders, securities and races while dealing with relevant, controversial social issues without sacrificing the fluidity of the story or the enjoyment of the audience. I’m considering including him as an example in my paper on the effects and importance of cinema on contemporary society.