52 Pick-Up ★★★

52 Pick-Up is a well constructed thriller that's expertly directed by John Frankenheimer with a big problem. The heroes of the film, albeit played by Roy Schneider and Ann Margaret, are essentially cardboard cutouts of the stereotypical hero and the helpless damsel in distress. I'd be more sympathetic but the two are also phony elites who, implausibly, are more skilled at crime and combat than the career criminals that they fight. Despite its nigh-fatal flaw, the film is captivating because of its ruthless and sadistic villain played by an energized and hypnotic John Glover and its smooth and well aestheticized direction by the great John Frankenheimer. While it's far from one of his masterpieces, it's worth a look.