“The deal is over. I want my end, and I’m out.”
A professional safecracker (James Caan) becomes involved with the Mafia, but soon realizes that his dreams for early retirement with his wife (Tuesday Weld) and child have been put on hold.
Michael Mann’s directorial debut features exciting action sequences, a fascinating glimpse at high-level safecracking, and a powerhouse performance by James Caan. Unfortunately, however, it remains a less-than-satisfactory film, due primarily to a lack of vested interest in Caan’s character. He comes across as bull-headed rather than sympathetic, and his unwise decision to get involved with the Mob shows that he isn’t really ready to come clean. The moral of the film is crystal-clear: a connection with the Mafia is for life; don’t try to delude yourself otherwise.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Some fascinating, lengthy scenes of big-scale safecracking
- James Caan as the thief longing to go straight after a lifetime of crime
- An exciting final shoot-out
No, though fans of Michael Mann will undoubtedly want to see his directorial debut.