SINNERS & SAINTS Review
William Kaufman's SINNERS & SAINTS may not be very well known, but it sure is a well made action thriller. Fans of action films from the 80s and 90s in particular should check this out, because it is a fabulous, old school, back-to-basics action movie. Through a combination of intense gun battles and strong acting, the film offers a refreshing take on the tough guy action genre.
The story is nothing original, and the basic premise of the hard-boiled cop out to catch some crazy criminals has been done countless times before. However, even without many convoluted plots or original ideas, the film is still engrossing to watch thanks largely to a good script co-written by director William Kaufman himself. Kaufman is clearly not trying to make an original thriller here, but one that pays tribute to old action films and that focuses on explosive action rather than clever storylines. And he succeeds gloriously.
From an impressive start to the enjoyable ending, SINNERS & SAINTS features plenty of action. These action scenes are brilliantly choreographed, truly exciting and most importantly, they feel real. There are some fast-paced chases through the battered neighbourhood of New Orleans, and many exciting shootouts involving the use of powerful weapons. These scenes are done with both clarity and intensity, clearly demonstrating Kaufman's skills as an action director.
There are some great performances from a good cast. Johnny Strong in the main role of the tough cop Sean Riley is outstanding. He has previously appeared in BLACK HAWK DOWN and THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, but it is his role in SINNERS & SAINTS that could have been his breakthrough if the film had received the recognition that it deserves. Riley's partner, rookie cop Will Ganz, is played by Kevin Phillips in a likeable performance. The rest of the cast is also solid, including Costas Mandylor, Sean Patrick Flanery, Tom Berenger, Kim Coates, Method Man and Louis Mandylor, many of whom are familiar faces in action movies.
SINNERS & SAINTS comes as a pleasant surprise. Unlike many of today's big budget CGI-laden action blockbusters, it offers truly satisfying actions, genuine thrills and great entertainment. It is definitely worth checking out, especially if (like me) you are missing the hard-hitting action movies from the past.
SINNERS & SAINTS is distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Pinnacle Films, and is now available on DVD.
William Kaufman Interview