Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Crimebusters (1977)

Matt and Wilbur are both looking for a new job, and after their attempts at the local docks ended up in a fistfight for both of them, they decide to pull a heist together. They soon learn the hard way though that their information is all wrong, and they accidentally start holding up a police station, having to enlist to allay suspicion. Mortified by their predicament, the duo try and weasel their way out of their new detachment as hard as they can, without success. Despite his grouchy demeanour and early disapproval, the police chief likes the boys, and notes their fighting prowess, and their eagerness to go after crooks/lawbreakers no matter how high up. He's also accepting no resignations for at least 6 months, meaning the guys are police officers whether they like it or not...

Crimebusters is perhaps the quintessential Hill and Spencer film. It's got everything the duo were famous for in spades, and is a highlight of their career.

The film is divided into definite sections. The first 15 minutes are of the duo being introduced to the audience, meeting each-other, and taking turns at trashing a gang by the docks. The following 15 or so are of the two planning what to do next, culminating in their attempted robbery and accidental enlistment. From then on, things continue in a less structured approach, not feeling like one mindless fight scene after another, but definitely feeling light on plot.

The story allows for a few varied setpieces. Some fights here are more simple, but most of them have real care put into them, and you can see the work that must have gone into planning all the little details, the locations, the actions, etc. There are also extended comedy [setpieces] too, such as the 'romantic date' when two villainous femme fatales are trying to seduce Terence and Bud, but face unexpected challenges [in trying to outdrink them].

The only major downside to Crimebusters is in how it feels at times like two different movies. A reluctant police recruit story, and one of two polar opposites ambling about randomly. It's not that these two stories couldn't go together by any means, but it's just the way that they're portrayed which feels a bit distant sometimes. A good example is the scene where the duo are at a diner that's attacked by some thugs. It's a fun scene, but it feels like we sat on the remote and are now watching a different Hill and Spencer offering.

The comedy here sure pleases, with many amusing moments and gags. While not every one of them land, there's plenty to love, and a few of the jokes even come full circle in a way by the end, which is always nice.

Terence and Bud are plenty of fun, carrying the film effortlessly, and nailing both comedy moments, and physical ones. David Huddleston isn't present a lot, but he makes the most of every scene. Laura Gemser makes a surprisingly normal and innocent character, portraying them well. The multitude of actors playing the various nameless villains and henchmen do fine, and can certainly take a hit convincingly!

The fight choreography is all great! The brawls are lots of fun, and always inventive. The duo not only fight with their fists, but with whatever else that isn't nailed down. It feels like a precursor to Jackie Chan's movies in how they use everyday objects to painful effects. Besides all these fisticuffs, there's a plethora of vehicle destruction too, which poses various highlights as the film goes on/progresses!

Despite looking like it came direct from the 1980s, Crimebusters is actually from 1977. That's Florida's doing. They always looked like .

The soundtrack is very good. Being an Italian movie, the theme is replayed a fair bit, but is rescored enough throughout to keep it fresh. It's only in the ending credits when you'll be reaching for the mute button.

Simply put, there's nothing to hate here whatsoever. Crimebusters is a great entry in Terence Hill and Bud Spencer's filmography, and is well worth a watch!...

bulletin board, two standing, phone booth? 27:21, 44:44: 46:48, 54:53, 1:05:43

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