Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The most superior genre of them all is the conspiracy thriller and the golden age of these was during the seventies when paranoia roamed the world, mostly the
the majority of the best conspiracy thrillers was made there - which is kinda
interesting, because I think it was Costa-Gavras Z who really started the new
trend after a few years hibernating after the JFK murder and John
Frankenheimer's masterpiece The Manchurian Candidate. The genre waned during
the end of the seventies and lived a confusing life for many years, with many
fake new starts. Flashpoint was the first cinema production from HBO, starring
Kris Kristofferson and Treat Williams, but I actually think it has an
interesting TV vibe over it - in a good
way of course, because this is a brilliant little conspiracy-themed thriller. United States
Kris Kristofferson is Bobby and Treat Williams is Ernie, two
border cops and best buddies. Kris has
his impressive stash of drugs in his locker and Ernie has a tendency to show up
with a brutal hangover every morning. But deep inside they're good and decent
guys who just happens to enjoy life a little bit too much. One day Bobby finds
a car buried in the desert. It has a dead body, a rifle and a bag with 800 000
dollars in it. It has also been there at least twenty years. Bobby wants to
take the money but Ernie makes them start to investigate the money and driver
first so they know what the money comes from. Soon they understand that "someone"
knows that they're doing and that the dead driver had a very special mission
and now "someone" don't want this story to be told... Texas
Flashpoint is one of those dusty, dirty, manly movies - often starring Kristofferson, but it's also a lot more complex and smarter than most of the dusty, dirty, manly movies set in deserts out there. First of all, it totally lives on the fantastic chemistry between Kristofferson and Williams. The old bear and the young otter (yes, that was also a gay reference if you know the terms used in some of the sub-cultures), best buddies forever. The first scene, Williams in a shower in something that could be misjudged as masturbating ends very surprisingly with Kristofferson's rugged paw coming into frame touching Williams face. My partner, G, who no idea what I was watching (and didn't care either) asked me if it was a gay-themed movie. So even if these two gentlemen lays down women, the only one they care about is each other. It's a pretty unique and interesting buddy-story.
But this is foremost a thriller, a very interesting twist on the conspiracy thriller. It could have been a separate storyline in, for example, David Miller's excellent 1973 Executive Action (a review I wrote in Swedish), the first movie to bring up the theories around the JFK-murder. A movie you MUST see, suitably in a double feature together with Henri Verneuil's I as in Icarus (1979). Flashpoint is set on a small place, in an area which leaves no room for cat and mouse. It's a conspiracy thriller told the traditional American way, like a western. The violence is rough and bloody, the men are quite - but not without emotions. One of the best scenes is Kurtwood Smith, a federal agent on a mission, talking to Kristofferson in almost a desperate way - like everything is hopeless, everything has lost its meaning. Everything, the crime, the murder, the rapes, is there for a reason - to give jobs to all the agents, cops, guards, soldiers.
An interesting viewpoint, more topical today then before.
Flashpoint is an excellent thriller with a top-notch cast and a great Tangerine Dream score. Really something I can recommend!