The Untouchables (1987)

(On TV, August 1999) I had heard many good thing about this much-lauded film and frankly, I was caught unprepared at how… conventional it all was. Yes, David Mamet’s macho-guy dialogue is fun, and there are some pretty good set-pieces, but did it have to be so obvious? The infamous Eisenstein-ripped staircase sequence is set up for what seems like five interminable minutes, and it all ends up being barely okay. (The parody in Naked Gun II was far superior) Otherwise, you can pretty much guess what’s going to happen five minutes in advance, and the late-minute gunfight heroics aren’t really as satisfying as they’re made out to be. Good entertainment, but not a classic!

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