4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
hard to sort out,
This review is from: Cruising [DVD]  (DVD)
I've never known quite what to think about Cruising, but it does exert a certain fascination, I find, much as I dislike dramas about serial killers in general and am not too sure about its presentation of the gay scene. Certainly it caused a lot of controversy at the time, and was felt by gay activists to be anti-gay. Perhaps the more accurate statement would be that it isn't actively pro-gay, but rather uses the milieu and the suggestion of dark, late-night haunts and clubs as a backdrop which is quite convincing. The leather scene had an edge that was quite separate from this, of course, but nevertheless could be harnessed to it to create a mood of life on the edge ... or exploited, depending on your point of view. I don't like the murder sequences, but there are two things I do enjoy in the film: the Al Pacino character, his friendship with his roommate, his energy and potential gayness himself, and the way New York is shown. The camera seems to take in the teeming city with all its visual squalor and splendour quite effortlessly. The energy is common to both, and is really very effective. There is also a role of a drag queen who helps the police with their investigations who is an arresting figure, with very stylish hair(!) and a seen-it-all manner that is quite fascinating. But it's really Pacino's film, and he shines like nowhere else except possibly Dog Day Afternoon, but that film has none of the big-city grandeur of this one!