Pointless Nonsense

Posted in movies by Bill on July 20, 2011

To Live and Die in LA had been sitting around gathering dust while I played Fallout: New Vegas, but I finally got around to watching it Sunday. Or at least the first 45 minutes, until I hit the large scratch on the disc. I think I lost some plot elements in the break between Sunday and Tuesday, when the replacement disc arrived and I finished it.

It’s one of the most “80s” movies I’ve ever seen. The soundtrack is by Wang Chung, the opening credits are in a loud pink and green color scheme, the Presidential motorcade has a wood paneled station wagon in it, a cop says “I’m too old for this shit” and “I’ve got three days left before retirement” shortly before he dies, there are car chases through areas where easily broken objects are moved from one side of the street to the other (presumably because they look cool when driven through), and there’s a whole weird modern dance scene where everyone wears strange makeup like Daryl Hannah in Blade Runner.

The movie concerns a Secret Service agent (played by the CSI guy) whose partner is murdered while investigating a counterfeiting ring (run by Willem DaFoe). The subsequent investigation mostly involves car chases, banging an informant chick, and driving around Los Angeles at sunset while Wang Chung music plays.

But I kinda liked the movie. The car chases were good (William Friedkin did The French Connection, after all, so he’s quite good at these things), lots of people died, it was interesting to see how little John Turturro has aged, and it was also interesting to see Jane Leeves as a lesbian with big 80s hair and Dean Stockwell as a sleazy 80s guy. I don’t think it’s enjoyable, though, unless you can get some entertainment value out of how horribly dated it is.


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