Ambition that only partly succeeds

Michael Mann has created an intense crime drama with a lot of finely crafted pieces that ought to fit well together. There's all kinds of potential here, from the first pairing of Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro - on opposite sides of the law, no less - to finely honed camerawork.

The problem? There's just too much going on. If you can forgive all the loose ends and the plotlines that don't really further the story, there's still the fact that all this extraneous material has gotten in the way of what could have been an excellent story between the smooth, fast-thinking criminal and the quirky, intuitive cop. While most every moment is well crafted, too many of them left me wondering "why is this here?"

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