This low-budget crime thriller has the feel of a major blockbuster and owes its roots to the hard-edged crime movies of the 1930s. Christopher Walken stars as a drug kingpin who is released from prison and vows to use his position and influence--and criminal enterprise--for charitable means. But a core group of New York cops are all over him and his gang, determined to go to war, whatever the cost, to bring him down. Eventually his empire--headquartered at, of all places, Donald Trump's Plaza Hotel--crumbles under the weight of double-crossing and a body count of open warfare with the cops. This is one of the most stylish films of the last decade, with a strong supporting cast (including Lawrence Fishburne, Wesley Snipes, and David Caruso) and some truly enthralling set pieces, including a stunning car chase and gunfight across a rain-soaked Queensboro Bridge. The film's tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top style offsets its nihilism; and its riveting visuals will have audiences hooked from beginning to end. --Robert Lane
I've got a message from Frank White. He wants to sit down, he wants to talk.
You tell him I don't talk to nigger lovers.
Well, he says he's got things on his mind that he wants to discuss with you, and he wants to know where and he wants to know when.
You tell him in fucking Hell, that's where. He's gonna wish his lawyer left him fucking those Sambos in the joint when I get through with him.
When the D.A's office investigated the sudden death of Arty Clay, they found that he left a $13 million estate. How do you explain that? There there's Larry Wong, who owned half of Chinatown when he passed away. Larry used to rent his tenements to Asian refuges, his own people, for $800 a month to share a single toilet on the same floor. How 'bout King Tito? He had thirteen-year-old girls hooking for him on the street. Those guys are dead because I don't want to make money that way. Emil Zappa, the Mata brothers, they're dead because they were running this city into the ground.
You expected to get away with killing all these people?
I spent half my life in prison. I never got away with anything, and I never killed anybody that didn't deserve it.
Who made you judge and jury?
Well, it's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.