Today I watched To live and die in L.A and I have to say I was very much entertained. Based on a novel by U.S secret service agent Gerald Petievich, it’s a great action crime thriller set in the mid-eighties that really has you ‘pure tuned in’ from start to finish.
It starts with Richard Chance and Jimmy Hart who are couple of secret service agents assigned to an investigation into counterfeiting at its Los Angeles field office. Chance (William Peterson) has a reputation for reckless behaviour and is a tough street smart cop while Hart is a veteran who is only three days away from retiring. Alone, Hart decides to stake out a warehouse in the desert thought to be the print house of suspected counterfeiter Rick Masters (Willem Dafoe). Masters and his bodyguard kill Hart leading to Chance declaring to his new partner, John Vukovich, (John Pankow), that he will take him down no matter what.
A lot of the films strengths come from the direction of William Friedkin, who also made the French connection (1971) and this is certainly a return to form in my opinion as some of the car pursuit scenes are really thrilling, fast paced and truly breath taking also the story moves with such fluidity that I found myself being dragged into each of the characters dilemmas needing to know the outcome.
It is this fact that I found most appealing about the film. Chances relationship with his snitch girlfriend, Vukovichs constant struggle with chances methods and the blurred line of justice not to mention the villain, Masters cruel ways. All of these contribute to a riveting story and what unfolds really leaves its mark on the viewer.
It’s really well cast and the subject matter is well revised and very informative. The story is first rate and I would highly recommend it if you fancy a fast paced crime thriller. Very enjoyable and I would give this seven out of ten stars.