To Live and Die in L.A.

To Live and Die in L.A. ★★★★½

Seeing this right after Sorcerer really makes it clear how different a career William Friedkin had in the 80s from what he was doing a decade earlier - this is pure commercial pulp, not just invoking the cliches of the genre but shouting them at the top of its lungs, but as commercial pulp goes it's pretty great. Brutal violence and neon-bright colors have pretty much equal pop, and there's nothing commercial about that ending, nor about Friedkin's still-intact refusal to believe in heroes and villains, even in a story about a hero chasing down a villain.

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