Steve Simels
July 06, 1990 AT 04:00 AM EDT

French Connection II

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Bernard Fresson
director
John Frankenheimer
author
Laurie Dillon, Robert Dillon, Alexander Jacobs
genre
Mystery and Thriller, ActionAdventure, Drama

We gave it an A

When people remember The French Connection, it’s mostly for Gene Hackman’s portrayal of Popeye Doyle and an astonishing car chase; otherwise the picture is a fairly conventional New York City cop story. For its vastly underrated sequel, however, director John Frankenheimer sent Doyle to Marseilles and came up with something a little tougher — 119 minutes of brutality and degradation set in a moral universe where everybody is corrupt except the hero. French Connection II is not exactly a fun flick (there’s a harrowing sequence where the bad guys shoot Hackman full of heroin, for example), but in its own twisted way it’s something of an art film — perhaps the most profoundly absurdist and pessimistic detective film ever made. A

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