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(Review originally written at 24 January 2008)

This is one fast paced movie, that also is very pleasant to watch thanks to its light comical undertone and of course excellent actors that are present in this movie. Still its lacking on some fronts, which prevents this movie from being an absolute perfect classic, though it really could had became one, since the right ingredients for it were definitely there.

The movie looks like a '70's movie, just mostly because it simply got made in the '70's and technically also got made like one but it yet just doesn't have that typical '70's feeling over it. The movie just doesn't has this typical gritty and realistic kind of atmosphere all over it. The movie also isn't filmed with an awful lot of experimental cinematic tricks, such as you would expect from an '70's movie. Only the editing is totally typical '70's like. The fact that this movie doesn't really feel like an '70's movie might be a disappointing aspect about the movie.

Even though the story is well constructed and especially the ending is really great and suitable for the movie as a whole, the actual main plot-line is still lacking. I don't know, the whole hijack to me didn't really seemed like a great and perfect criminal plan. It also is a missed opportunity that you just never get to know one of the hostage, which makes the whole hostage situation kind of emotional shallow and uninvolved. This takes away lots of the tension and surprises in the movie. As a thriller this is just a totally lacking movie. The movie also doesn't feature any big action sequences or chases in it, to make the movie more exciting in parts.

The movie features a surprising amount of humor in it. Of course not the hilarious forced kind of humor but more the sort of the same style that also got used in "Dog Day Afternoon", which by the way got released one year after this movie. Especially the dialog is really effective.

I won't pretend as if I'm a Robert Shaw expert, since I actually have, as of yet, seen surprisingly few movies with him starring in it (only 4, with this one included) but it seems to me that for every role he learned a different accent, which shows what a great and committed actor he really was! In this movie he uses a very thick English accent. Also Walter Matthau was really well cast. Most of the supporting actors were still fairly unknown at their time and it includes Hector Elizondo and Jerry Stiller.

It's a real great and highly enjoyable and recommendable 'in between' movie but just not really a must-see '70's classic in my opinion, even though it still deserves an high rating.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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