Director: Robert Culp
Starring: Bill Cosby, Robert Culp
More info: IMDb
Tagline: They hold their forty-four magnums with two hands and keep firing until they hit something ... anything.
Plot: Two hard-boiled, slightly desperate private eyes, Al Hickey (Cosby) and Frank Boggs (Culp), try to make an honest buck and not get killed doing so in 1970s Los Angeles. They finally get a case they can sink their teeth into (and hopefully get paid for) when they're asked to locate a woman gone missing. Sounds straightforward, but it isn't; soon, they're tracking criminals who've made off with hundreds of thousands of dollars!
My rating: 7.5/10
Will I watch it again? Sure
So after watching TRICK BABY (1972) last night I was thinking of what would compliment it to cap off a triple feature on a Friday night. I recalled a movie that I've been wanting to see ever since I discovered the I SPY (1965) TV show. Instant fan. Then I remembered that the only way to see this in widescreen was on Netflix's instant viewing. That was easy. It can usually take me up to a half hour or more to decide what to watch. That's the problem with having so many movies at your disposal. Was it a home run? No. But it was quite good and bleak.
The chemistry these two guys had on I SPY is legendary. Just watch a couple of episodes and you'll get the idea that these two guys have been best buds since birth. It was interesting to see these two together outside of the playful narratives of the show and in something that is surrounded by edge. They're banter has that I SPY thing going on toward the beginning and fades as the picture progresses. It also gets darker and darker and shows the range and acting chops of both actors, particularly Cosby. There's a scene at the beginning of the final act in a bar that's just fantastic. It's a long, unbroken shot of the two of them with Cosby staring coldly forward and Culp trying to get a reaction out of him. It's deadly serious and very effective.
If you enjoy 70s crime dramas then you need to check this one out. If you liked I SPY you need to see this. It's an interesting counterpart to the show, as if they had continued the show and the tolls of their job had hardened them into killing machines.