To Live and Die in L.A.

USA 1985
Director: William Friedkin
Cast: William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow, Debra Feuer, John Turturro, Darlanne Fluegel, Dean Stockwell

116 Min. | OV | Originalversion


Fourteen years after »Popeye« Doyle‘s frenzied and ruthless fight again a French drug kingpin, William Friedkin once again sends a cop into a never ending nightmare full of violence and fallacy. After his partner and mentor is killed, Secret Service Agent Richard Chance (William Petersen) goes beyond all limits. He desperately wants to hunt down and most likely execute Eric Masters (Willem Dafoe), a ruthless forger and murderer. No matter how high the price he has to pay for it. »To Live and Die in L.A.« ostensibly resembles many of the neo noir‘s of the 1980s with its urban landscapes full of merciless sun and multicolored neonlights. But Friedkin abandons the genre‘s conventions long before the film‘s forceful as well as surprising showdown. Narrative and style form a perfectunity. The glossy iciness of its images intensely mirror the unscrupulousness that binds Chance and Masters. Externally they are adversaries, but internally they are as one: two typical ambassadors of the greed and moral ambiguity of the Reagan-era, who infect and destroy everything around them like a deadly virus.