Rafael "Parker!!" Jovine’s review published on Letterboxd:
Tits, snappy and snarky dialogue, brilliant pacing and great action – each and every element that makes of Shane Black such a wonderful writer/director for many of his fans like me, each and every of those elements in a turn of a miracle can all be found into one picture. This picture.
I mean, where should I start? The way Black takes the basis of a film noir with some of the blaxploitation genre of the era and blended them together is just amazing. I know the minute I say this some fan or individual will bring me some examples, but even then, none of his role has gotten close to the splendid, loud and overall entertaining performance delivered by our deadpan boi Ryan Gosling. For once, it seems our man is having the time of his life and its just overly infectious, from his asshole, drunken persona to his screeches, I might be in the wrong here, but this might be in the top 2 of Best Shane Black’s characters. In contrast, Crowe brooding and much serious persona not only reminded me in many ways to this year’s Unhinged in terms of weight and at those violent scenes, but his great chops as a much dramatic actor fits the bill perfectly and plays very well against Gosling’s zany persona. To be honest, Holly started being pretty good but slowly she was turning into a prick with her smartass persona that turned me off the film – the same could be said about Qualley’s role as Amelia. Boomer was great on his little screen time too. And of course, the little wink to the genre itself in the form of Basinger didn’t go unnoticed to me.
The screenplay is not overall perfect, but with its intricate plot that never feels confusing overlapped with scenes that not only reflects the era but pokes fun at it in a fun and mean-spirit way, its perhaps the real reason why the film is in the so enjoyable – along with the performances.
All in all, it goes without saying, this is a movie everyone must watch. The fact it made so poorly while on theaters is among the biggest crimes in cinema history as it deserves so much better. So hopefully this will help plant some seed, get much people join and discover this movie, so we can then get a sequel!