Big hair, big collars, big cars and those tastfully refined colours of the early 70's abound. A Brown leather suit, grey check clothes, big fedora and long sideburns as the movie writhes to the rythm of the Curtis Mayfield soundtrack especially Pusherman.
This was the end of the era for the black communities, Civil Rights,Malcolm X and Vietnam had changed the lifetyle. The stereotype of the white suburban nightmare, the bete noire had reared its shaggy head. Down on the streets the deals were going down as Cocaine moved into the ghetto, the drug dealers went from abject poverty to local superstars.
This film portrays this in the running chase as we are led through the derelict housing of New York, that closely sealed off in most mainstream films. We see the two incumbents climb into a family room, dominated by the stove heater and not the TV. This was poverty in its real life, the type that exploded onto the screens when New Orleans became flooded.
The bath scene goes on way too long but this film is about sex, drugs and corruption. The police are the real drug dealers and they run the streets. How scorching can you get?
The acting becomes wooded, the music scenes clumsy but the film captures a mood of a time and place. New York was going bust, black men were going to jail but meanwhile some could get hold of the types of comsumer items their forefathers could stare at whilst they bore the sting of the command. This is more than just a Kung Fu, kick em and whack em type of film, read beyond what is being offered and suddenly a wholse vista opens up.