Sinners and Saints Revs Up The Violence

By Dayne Archer

If William Kaufman filmed “Sinners and Saints,” his neo-noir, hardboiled cop drama, on a shoestring budget and a prayer, then the proficiency with which he films the action says otherwise. Kaufman makes good use of New Orleans’ seedy underbelly, and he throws in more than enough beatings and gunfights to satisfy an audience for whom overkill doesn’t exist.

Johnny Strong stars as Detective Sean Riley, whose marriage falls apart when his son dies of leukemia. With his patience running thin, Riley risks losing his badge after he leads a raid in which he shoots a wounded suspect to death; however, his Captain (Tom Berenger) sends him with Detective Will Ganz (Kevin Phillips) to track down whoever is responsible for murdering dozens of two-bit hoodlums. As it turns out, the trail leads to a drug kingpin named Rhykin (Jürgen Prochnow) and the group of rogue, covert operatives who’ve taken to literally burning the competition at his behest. The operatives set their sights on Colin (Sean Patrick Flanery), Riley’s war buddy who’s trying to stop them before they turn New Orleans into their personal stomping ground.

Riley and Ganz fight Rhykin’s lackeys in a series of high-pitched gun battles that Kaufman and his crew choreograph with an attention to detail that even big-budget movies like The Expendables tend to omit. The two detectives aim, reload, use hand signals to guide each other in the middle of a firefight, and spring back and forth from cover to blast their way through the Big Easy’s most dangerous corridors and streets. Take, for instance, how Riley blinds his opponents with a concussion grenade before he charges into the room and riddles them with more holes than a cheese grater. Mark Rutledge captures the chaos with the steady hand that the cinematographers of Battle: Los Angeles and Cloverfield seem to lack, and Kaufman shoots the sequences long enough so that the audience can clearly see who’s shooting whom. Michael Bay and Tony Scott, both of whom have helmed so many huge blockbusters like The Rock and Transformers that they can sell one on their involvement alone, use uninteresting set-pieces as an excuse to shake the camera and cut haphazardly from one shot to the next; Kaufman, who directed Cuba Gooding Jr. in The Hit List, knows what he has, and he’s not afraid to use it.
Although Kaufman offers decent shootouts at a discount price, his script takes pages from the same playbook of tropes — the two cops who set aside their differences to work together, the climactic gun battle, the icy villain in a suit, etc. — that just about every police procedural thriller (Above the Law, Dirty Harry and Rush Hour) recycles to a fault. It’s a credit to Strong, who has a memorable role in Blackhawk Down as a Delta Force sniper who fights off hundreds of terrorists to save a downed pilot, that he can sell it convincingly. He plays tough but with enough sensitivity to evoke some degree of inner turmoil. If nothing else, he hits his marks, and he makes his fights look good; in a film like Sinners and Saints, that’s all an actor really needs to do.

We will read your comment immediately so leave a remark!

RSS Guardian Express

  • Colorado Fourth Grade Students Caught Selling Marijuana on School Playground April 25, 2014
    School administrators in the northern part of Colorado are telling parents to please take better care of their newly legal leisure marijuana. This is after several fourth grade students were caught selling the drug on their elementary school playground. John Gates, who is the administrator of safety at the Weld County School District, stated that […]
    Kimberly Ruble
  • Rubin “Hurricane” Carter KO’s Last Opponent: Injustice! April 25, 2014
    Rubin “Hurricane” Carter died April 20, 2014 at the age of 76 of prostate cancer. Retribution, is a word that goes hand in hand with words like atonement, requital, pay back, and one getting their just deserts. Retribution’s cost is high and it offers little return. When someone like Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a black boxer convicted […]
    John Thomas
  • New Markets Get a Lyft April 25, 2014
    On the 24th day of April, Lyft announced that it is adding 24 new mid-sized U.S. cities to its rideshare service. They are billing the expansion “Lyftapalooza” but it really amounts to Lyft now operating in more U.S. cities than its nearest competitor Uber (60 versus 47). Lyft is getting extra competitive with a new […]
    Dyanne Weiss
  • Portland Trail Blazers LaMarcus Aldridge Unstoppable in Game Two Victory April 25, 2014
    The Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge was unstoppable in their game two victory over the Houston Rockets last night. Aldridge scored a game high 43 points to go along with eight rebounds and three blocked shots as the Blazers won 112-106, and took a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. Now, the Trail Blazers will […]
    Kalen Skalesky
  • California School Bus Crash Injures 12 April 25, 2014
    An Orange County Unified School District bus carrying schoolchildren crashed near the Anaheim Hills Golf course in California injuring 12 people. Six people were hospitalized including the 24-year-old male driver and five students from the seventh and eighth grades. The driver, who had to be pulled from the wrecked vehicle remains in critical condition and t
    Alana Marie Burke

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 627 other subscribers

Quantcast