Originally entitled "The Looters" and scheduled for a summer 1992 release, TRESPASS was postponed to the Christmas season in order to distance it from the Los Angeles race riots triggered by the LAPD beating of Rodney King. Ironically, while flawed as a genre piece, the film implicitly
pleads for racial understanding in its allegorical tale of a violent standoff between blacks and whites in a ruined factory.
Don and Vince (William Sadler and Bill Paxton) are two Arkansas firemen who think they've struck a mother lode when they're handed a "treasure map" leading to a million or more dollars' worth of gold stolen 50 years earlier from a Catholic church. The gold is concealed in a ceiling somewhere in a
vast, abandoned factory in an East St. Louis ghetto. Sheer action-movie coincidence brings drug dealer King James (Ice-T) and his lieutenants to the factory on the same day as Don and Vince to carry out a revenge execution for the murder of one of their couriers. Inevitably, an explosive clash
Considered by some the successor to the late Sam Peckinpah, Walter Hill (48 HRS., JOHNNY HANDSOME) makes action films that are conflicted almost to the point of paralysis. While Hill's instinctive intelligence has made him a critical favorite, the dark moral complexities of his scenarios haven't
always been to the taste of the action movie audience, which has been spotty in supporting Hill's films.
Here, some striking ideas, themes, and symbols never quite gel; the main problem is the plot, which never overcomes the implausibility of its premise. Yet the performances are solidly above average for the genre and, while TRESPASS might have been more compelling, it still displays far more style
and intelligence than the average contemporary action thriller.
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- Released: 1992
- Rating: R
- Review: Originally entitled "The Looters" and scheduled for a summer 1992 release, TRESPASS was postponed to the Christmas season in order to distance it from the Los Angeles race riots triggered by the LAPD beating of Rodney King. Ironically, while flawed as a ge… (more)