Baby endangerment may be next to tossing puppies off high-rise balconies as ill-advised plot elements in movies—John Woo’s “Hard-Boiled,” riffing on Sam Fuller’s “Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street” may have been the apotheosis—but that doesn’t mean filmmakers like the seemingly humorless Jeff Celentano won’t reach for that terrible effect in violent goulash like “Breaking Point.” Knotty plotting, conspiratorial complexes and scowling performances by the likes of Tom Berenger, Busta Rhymes, Kirk “Sticky Fingaz” Jones and Armand Assante make this New York City would-be drug noir near-intolerable for its epic mediocrity. Worse, there’s a strain of misogyny that dances around racist violence, then accomplishes it. The opening scene promises modest Armageddon but fails on its crude promise. 93m. Widescreen. (Ray Pride)
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.