A combination of brilliantly edited car chases and existential thriller which recalls the sombreness of Melville and the spareness of Leone in a context which is the 'classical' economy of directors like Hawks and Walsh.
As ludicrous as the dialogue by screenwriter/director Walter Hill may be, the film's visual scheme is hypnotic. Dark, moody and muscular, its style gets under your skin even if your brain rebels. [21 Aug 1978, p.66]
Hill attempted to stylize gangster characters and conventions, and although he succeeded in the action sequences, which have a near-abstract visual power, the stylized characters, with their uninflected personalities, flatten the movie out.
Written and directed by Walter Hill, who once wrote and directed a good movie, Hard Times, with Charles Bronson. This one is not good. It is Awful Movie. It is Pretentious Movie. It is Silly Movie. It talks just like this.
Superb cinematography and kinetic driving sequences aren't enough to avoid the boredom I felt from the vapid screenplay and distractingly slow pacing. The talented cast are wasted here as the film meanders towards the inevitable over cooked triple cross ending.