|Frank Boggs (Culp) lt., and Al Hickey (Cosby)|
|Carmen (Moreno) with L.A. City Hall in the background|
The film nicely transitions through Tinseltown's classic Film Noir icons of the past, the classic streamlined silver Super Chief "F" units, Union Station, and the Los Angeles City Hall to the smog shrouded broken dream downtown of 1970s.
|Nyona (Rosalind Cash)|
|Lt. Wyatt (James Woods)|
|Ballard (Michael Moriarty)|
|Brill (Robert Mandan)|
|Living on the edge LA style|
The detectives Hickey & Boggs are similar to their earlier counterparts in spirit but here in this film they have lost the power to change their situations. In part I think this is more the fault of the screenplay. Whether the original Walter Hill screenplay or Bill Culp's changes or studio suits are to blame is worth investigating. In classic hard boiled stories the confrontations were small scale, the stories convoluted but still simple. Here, our two dicks are out gunned in three confrontations even battling helicopter mounted machine guns at the final denouement. This may be an effect of the increasing popularity of the Action Genre in the 70's and trying to modernize a traditional noir story into an action film rather than any statement of the ineffectuality of a private dick in the modern world. But they do win in the end but at a big cost.