9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
strangers in the night...,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cruising [DVD]  (DVD)
For those unfamiliar with the plot, Cruising (based on a book by Gerald Walker) is about a straight cop going undercover in the world of 'heavy leather' - a subculture within New York's gay scene of the 70's/80's. Reluctantly at first, but with increasing curiosity, Pacino's character Steve Burns immerses himself in the milieu - frequenting bars like The Ramrod and the Eagle's Nest, and cruising in Central Park. Burns' quarry is a killer targeting men from precisely this scene.
The film features both Burns' and the killer's point of view. Or perhaps that should be killers', because there is some suggestion of more than one murderer. Indeed, there is a lot of ambiguity in this film, which the director (Friedkin) enhanced by having different actors play the murderer in different scenes - actors who a few scenes earlier were themselves playing victims. All this serves to disorientate the audience.
For some, the point of this film will not be the characters or plot, but rather the sense of atmosphere that the film creates. New York as the 70's gave way to the 80's had a distinctive air of decay and menace, but also of excitement, and this is nicely captured in Cruising. The scenes in Central Park are bathed in emerald green light and take place under bridges and in woodland glades, lending them a strangely fairytale feel.
Pacino rarely gives a bad performance, and this is no exception. He is joined by a mixed bag of fellow actors, some of whom went on to rather less high profile careers.
A highly original, unsettling film - for adults.