WEST NEW YORK (1996), featuring a soundtrack reminiscent of Pink
Floyd's "Learning to Fly" in the credits, but with an overall
enjoyable Miami-Vice dose of action and synth audio, is a tense,
hyper-emotional drama. It tells the story of individuals either
currently or formerly in law enforcement, being tempted by the goods
and valuables they are charged to protect, as part of their dutues,
for personal profit in this case.
Starring Frank Vincent, in the role of a former cop, gets involved
in what originally he had intended to only be a skimming oepration
to cobble up a nest egg for his daughter and son in law. This
shortly after gets magnified by a factor of 1,000 as the bad guys
exert pressure on him to take the action to a higher level, and out
of proportion, which he is reluctant to do although aware that
refusing could have fatal consequences, while going along with it
makes the risks of being caught higher.
With an unusual human warmth of 2 unknowns in the business - Gian
DiDonna and Gloria Darpino, as well as Brian McCormack playing the
"Machevellian Dirty Cop", with a demeanor reminiscent of Harvey
Keitel in some ways, the DVD only has 2 biographies in the extras,
one for Frank Vincent, and the other for Vincent Pastore, who is a
staple in these crime / underworld dramas.
There's a generous mixture of private and business lives told of the
characters, succeeding in involving the viewers, making the outcome
matter, entertaining them. The action carries viewers into the
story, with a very real, appropriate, natural dialog, very well
articulated by the actors.
A number of aspects of policing is demonstrated: the former cops who
ran into trouble in the past (alcohol, etc.); the present cops, some
of which only maintain themselves at the expense of illegal behavior
from the threats they utter and through collaboration they have
with individuals in the underworld to cover their tracks /
mistakes, playing both sides on the checkerboard (so to speak).
Finally, there'sthe regular folks: wives, husbands, police chiefs,
friends who have no hidden agenda, just a basic, simple conduct.
Vincent Frank is cool, calm, collected, yet able to transmit drama
and play the part of veteran who's been around the block a few
Some brutality, of course, is shown (stabbing, shootings,
strangling, fighting), as well as some language excesses (namely, by
A necessary love scene is shown, to add some depth to one of the
central characters, who abhors her husband, when he's psyching out
as a disbalanced, cop on the edge, running to a former lover.
The filming is high quality, clear, ( although not widescreen ) and
is fine as a DVD rental above all, for sure superior to a TV movie.
The plot is timeless, as hasn't aged since the release date.