Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
This comedy is most of
all a contemporary social satire of useful effect. It is a brilliant
document of 1970s New York and of the uprising of media as a powerful
force, and it captures a few hilarious illustrations in that respect.
But that is also about everything this film has to offer. Al Pacino's
performance is a potential powerhouse, but his character is - behind all
its absurdness - ultimately tedious and unexplored. Lumet gets his point
through (thoroughly) when trying to be satirical, but he's far off when
trying to create engaging dramatic relations between too many characters
that are all in the same state of mind. The Freudian approach gets a bit
clichéd, and the promising introduction of the Leon-character is wasted
by the long-winded and dramatically static middle part of the film. Not
until a very fine finish can Dog Day Afternoon boast any kind of
suspense, but by then it has wasted its fine premise on too many
infertile dialogues and sequences.
what country do you wanna go to?"
Sonny: "Sal, Wyoming's not a country!"