Vince and Don are two Arkansas firemen with a map that leads to a cache of stolen gold. When their search gets in the way of a gangland execution, they're held hostage.
A couple of Bills (Arkansas firemen Paxton and Sadler) come up against a pair of Ices (East St. Louis hoods T and Cube) in this half-arsed Walter Hill action pic.
A pretty obvious urban reworking of The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (Sadler is Bogart, Paxton is Tim Holt and Ice-T gets to be the bandido), it opens with the firemen happening to discover from a dying man that a fortune in gold stolen from the church in 1940 has been stashed in a now-derelict factory where a gang of jive-talkin' rap-type gangbangers are hanging out, throwing each other off roofs and saying "motherfucker" a lot.
The firemen break into the building, tripping over a wino who does the Walter Huston role, and witness a murder, which leads to a siege situation as the honkies hold T's junkie brother hostage while the ice-heads summon reinforcements to blast their butts off. After an age, the building gets set on fire and we ought to be ready for a great finish with the firemen fighting it out with the crooks in the middle of the blaze.
Instead, Hill throws in a tiresome game of who's-got-the-gold? and comes over annoyingly moral with tut-tut close-ups of deservedly dead characters. Hill remains a master of action pieces, staging his bursts of gunfire with glass-in-the-face directness, and is even director enough to get strong performances from his bunch of dressed-up pop stars. But this supposed sure-fire thriller, from a script by Robert Zemeckis and Robert Gale that was called The Looters until the L.A. riots got in the way, fizzles like a Molotov cocktail with a soggy fuse.
Hill remains a master of action pieces and is even director enough to get strong performances from his bunch of dressed-up pop stars. But this supposed sure-fire thriller, from a script that was called The Looters until the L.A. riots got in the way, fizzles like a Molotov cocktail with a soggy fuse.