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One of Frankenheimer's better later films - but a frustrating DVD,,
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This review is from: Year Of The Gun  [DVD] (DVD)
The latter years of John Frankenheimer's career were mostly a downward spiral with only occasional rare steps in the right direction, but Year of the Gun is certainly one of his better late entries thanks to a terrific premise. A less annoying than usual Andrew McCarthy is an American writer in Rome secretly working on a Day of the Jackal-style novel about a Red Brigade plot to kidnap Aldo Moro, only to end up in their bad books in a very big way when it turns out to be a virtual blueprint for the real-life crime they're on the verge of committing. Sharon Stone, in the best of her pre-Basic Instinct films, plays the pushy freelance photo-journalist after his story who gets down to her trademark horizontal gymnastics (sans icepick this time) for good measure, while no-one else is what they seem to be.
The plot creates its own momentum, leaving Frankenheimer free to evoke the chaotic Italian political landscape and the shocking violence of the Red Brigade's outrages in a series of convincing set-pieces. The action is well-handled - especially a bank getaway and a prolonged chase sequence - the story engrossing and for once the ending catches you off-guard. Not up to the standard of Frankenheimer's earlier classics, this is still a superior thriller, though the lack of English subtitles for the Italian dialogue is a bit frustrating - they're not to be found on the UK DVD, the widescreen German DVD (which cuts one sex scene from the US and UK versions but includes it as a deleted scene) or US DVD either.