Dog Day Afternoon (1975) – 4.5/5

Great, unconventional heist/hostage type movie with plenty of good writing, strong acting, hilarious dialogue, and a level of unpredictability that manages to just about always keep things interesting, even when you think you know where it’s going. There’s also a twist about half way in that I totally wasn’t expecting and frankly thought was a joke at first due to its absurdity, but no, it’s no joke, and, in the spirit of honesty, took me a little while to recover from. What a wacky thing to put in a bank robbery film. And it’s all true, apparently.

The film is pretty solid all the way through. It’s not a particularly deep or unique story at first, but I liked how it slowly becomes about a number of different things, most significantly, social injustice, of all kinds, even stuff you wouldn’t expect from a film that came out in the 70s. It’s exciting to watch Al Pacino’s  character reveal himself to be more than the **SPOILERS** traditional angry, potentially crazed bank robber type we all expect him to be. **END SPOILERS**

And yes, the twist is jarring, at least it was for me who had no idea one was even coming. If you don’t know what it is, just pretend like you didn’t read it on here, assuming anyone even reads these things and I haven’t just been typing pompous, long-winded film reviews to myself this whole time. Wouldn’t surprise me. But yeah, the twist is shocking, especially because it seems so absurd at first. It turns several stereotypes on their heads, and it does so brilliantly.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. A solid, well made, well acted film with plenty of laughs and suspense. Great filmmaking at its best. The plot is a little absurd at times, specifically that one twist I keep hinting at about halfway through that I refuse to reveal under any circumstances whatsoever, not even under threat of torture! Never, you hear me! Eh, screw it: **SPOILERS** Pacino’s character is gay and is robbing the bank to pay for his lover’s sex operation. **END SPOILERS** What the hell? Talk about wacky and unexpected. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried, or so was the case here since the film is based on a true story. I just couldn’t get over how crazy that reveal was. Ballsy, man.

Anyway, watch it. Great film.

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