Watch it. Watch it now.
I have been rather fortunate to stumble upon this gem after watching “The French Connection”. TFC being a film which has a great car chase in it. A lot of people think it’s one of the best. While I was reading down the list of the best car chases, Bullitt, The French Connection, The blues Brothers etc I came across a film I had not seen nor was I familiar with it having any association with best car chases. That was this movie. “To live and Die in L.A.”, it starred William Dafoe, ‘could be good’ I thought. I planned to watch it shortly after reading about it but things happened and it passed out of thought, a few weeks later I sat down to watch the film but couldn’t remember why the heck I had wanted to view this.
So I start watching it and it’s not bad, there was already a suicide bomber in the opening scenes (and this was in the 80s ) and we have a cool scene of fake money being made to the sound of Wang Chung and William Dafoe acting bad ass. The first part of the film is pretty normal “cops out to bust the big guys at any cost”, it reminds me a little bit of the original Miami Vice series but it’s not until midway through the film that a simple plan to get money to catch the bad guys goes so wrong and from that point it’s a nightmare for our heroes who at that point are just as bad as the criminals they’re after. The car chase IS that good and knocks the snot out of anything like the car chase in Matrix Reloaded. The film had me sitting up in bed shouting at the screen in excitement and disbelief at the action. From that point on it’s another film and a very bold one at that considering the direction they take it in. It’s not typical of that time to do this kind of story. The moral values take a back seat like some of the fine Hong Kong action flicks of the 80s and 90s.
After this fabulous car chase scene I checked out for some more unknowns. Another one some people have mentioned is a movie called “Short Time”. I watched the movie and the car chase in “Short Time” is good but it doesn’t have the same dramatic atmosphere as “To Live and Die in L.A.”.
Favorite Quote: “Guess what? Uncle Sam don’t give a shit about your expenses. You want bread, fuck a baker.” – Richard Chance