It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Fred Williamson's new movie is a surprisingly effective cop picture shot on location in Chicago, with Williamson as a narcotics cop who breaks up a cocaine ring. It's a slick, gritty picture filled with good supporting performances, and it uses a lot of locations south of the Loop that haven't been seen in the movies before.
The reason I say the movie's "surprising" is that it's such an improvement on "Three the Hard Way," Williamson's last movie as director, producer and star. Williamson is the only one-man film factory in the country right now; he has the personal appeal to star in movies, the stature to produce them and the backing to finance them. But after "Three the Hard Way," which was a complete mess, it looked as if he desperately needed a director and a writer.
Maybe he was just taking it easy on that film. In "The Big Score," working from a screenplay by Gail Morgan Hickman, he turns in a smooth, effective directing job and the movie survives slow scenes to tell an absorbing story.
Williamson plays Hooks, a Chicago narc. After he stages an elaborate bust, his victim hires a good lawyer and gets off free. Hooks makes the case into a vendetta, and corners the drug dealers during a big transfer of cash in a South Side warehouse. While he's chasing the payoff man, however, the guy hides the money in the trunk of an abandoned car and is then shot dead.
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