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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2316)

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The French Connection 
"The French Connection" by Yojimbo
3/4 stars

Tough New York street detective "Popeye" Doyle stumbles on a ring of drug runners planning to import heroin from France. William "The Exocrist" Friedkin uncompromisingly directs one of the great hard-boiled cop dramas of the 70s in what can be seen as the grandaddy of popular TV series The Wire. Hackman shines as the flawed cop with a two fisted approach to investigation who is constantly wrong footed and outsmarted by his wily opponent. The gritty, documentary approach has a visceral realism, and makes for some of the most memorable action sequences of the era, especially the A-train car chase in which Doyle virtually destroys his commandeered automobile. Incredibly tautly directed and breathlessly paced, there is no room for soapy personal relationships or love interests, just a single investigation from inception to shaky conclusion. It ends a little abruptly and there is little time to invest any personal attachments to the characters but as cop dramas go, it's as hard nosed as a head butt in the face. Classic stuff.


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