Al Pacino plays Sonny Wortzik, a young man who plans to rob a bank with two of his friends. The three men carefuly enter the bank and when they feel it's a proper moment they pull out their weapons and close the doors. From here on everything that can go wrong, goes wrong. First one of Pacino's partnerts gets scared and leaves the bank, taking the car they were using. Then a large ammount of cops start arriving to the place and surround the building. But Sonny and Sal (John Cazale) are vietnam veterans, they are definitely not weak and scared, specially Sonny who's the one doing all the thinking trying to get away with this. Another frustrating problem is the fact that the bank had only a couple of thousand dollars in the vault, I guess just thinking about going to jail for a couple of bucks is awful.
A policemen is talking to Sonny trying to end this event, but Sonny wont give up and he asks for a car to take him to the airport where he'll board a plain that'll take him to another country. The cops say yes, but in the mean time they have to wait. Director Lumet knew that placing the whole movie in the same place was going to bore and annoy the audience, so he made a big effort to make the in-and-out scenes look fine. These scenes I just mentioned are the ones where Sonny goes out of the bank to talk to the police, unarmed, saying that if he gets killed Sal will kill the 7 or 8 women inside the bank. It was a smart move to be careful with these scenes, Lumet took advantage of the the big crowd that was outside the bank along with the cops and he even introduced some humor to the film, at least I thought so. It's nice to see how the crowd was on Sonny's side, and what were the consecuences of yelling "Attica!".
Although some critics reveal Sonny's reason for robbing the bank, I feel like it's better to see for yourself, but one thing I can say: I didn't like his motives, actually they were disappointing, in my opinion.
After the first two fantastic Godfather films and other great movies such as Serpico, Pacino delivers yet another brilliant performance. His positive attitude keeps the film interesting, you don't know what's he going to come up with next. John Cazale was just great, his characters are always a bit.. 'dumb' or something, (The Godfather, The Deer Hunter) but he managed to look really cool as the calmed but nervous guy who just wanted to get out of the situation. Cazale was a great actor, too bad he left us so soon ('78).
The ending was very good, one of the best -if not the best- scenes in the entire film, I would have liked it to go the other way, but I knew it had to end up like this, still, it was a pleasure to watch these final scenes. Well, all of this might make you wonder why I gave it a 7? Well, it's mainly because no matter how hard Lumet tried to keep the audience interested, it's impossible to make a film over two hours long in the same place and end up with an entertaining movie. Despite the scenes outside the bank, the film does get boring at some points. I thought there should have been other scenes somewhere else or maybe the film should have been half an hour shorter, but still I wouldn't say this is a bad flick, definitely a must see, specially for Pacino fans.
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