A Week In Film #307: Law & order

Robocop (1987) title screen
Paul Verhoeven’s Judge Dredd-inspired satire on corporate capitalism, shaped around a tale of a dystopian near future Detroit where a fatally wounded police officer is rebuilt into a cyborg law enforcer. Great stuff, with Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Miguel Ferrer, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith and Dr Romano from E.R. (Paul McCrane).

Inside Man title screen
Inside Man
It might only have been a work-for-hire gig, but this genre heist movie is one of my favourites of Spike Lee. Clive Owen and crew taken down a Manhattan bank in broad daylight, but then seem to vanish into thin air. Then it’s time for detectives Denzel Washington and Chiwetel Ejiofor to figure what the hell happened, what bank boss Christopher Plummer has to hide, and how razor smiled political fixer Jodie Foster has to do with it all. That scripture Russell Gewirtz’s only other big screen work was the De Niro/Pacino stinker Righteous Kill does not bode well for this not having been a fluke, though.

Lawless: Dead Evidence title screen
Lawless: Dead Evidence
The final Lawless adventure (a series sadly cut short by lead actor Kevin Smith’s untimely death in 2002) has our hero hired by the wife of an American (C Thomas Howell) in gaol for a series of gruesome murders to exonerate him. This time Gavin Strawhan’s story is brought to life by Charlie Haskell (Power Rangers, Xena, Hercules).

The General (1998) title screen
The General (1998)
John Boorman’s black-and-white take on the life of Dublin crime Martin Cahill. Very enjoyable, sometimes nuanced, occasionally sentimental, attempt at lionising a thief, with Brendan Gleeson perfectly cast in the lead, Adrian Dunbar as his trusted lieutenant, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Angeline Ball as his wives, and Jon Voight the gard on his trail.

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