City Of Industry (1997, Harvey Keitel, Stephen Dorff)

City Of Industry

The mean streets of LA are Harvey Keitel’s domain in compelling thriller City Of Industry. Lee Egan (Timothy Hutton) plots a robbery, with the help of his brother Roy (Keitel), driver Skip (Stephen Dorff) and friend Jorge (Wade Dominguez).

The job is executed swiftly, as are Lee and Jorge, killed by Skip as he keeps the money and flees with Roy in hot pursuit. In Los Angeles Roy tracks down Skip’s girlfriend, who gives him the clues that set him on the trail again but now he finds himself joined by Rachel (Famke Janssen), Jorge’s widow. Finally, Roy targets his man, unaware that Skip knows of his intentions, and planning his own fatal surprise…

The revenge heist movie is a difficult one to perfect – Rififi and Reservoir Dogs are among the few genre triumphs – but City of Industry gains power through innovation. There are no cops (“I’m my own police,” insists Roy) and each scene is edited like a metronome, producing a rhythm and balance distinct from the fast-cut sledgehammer edits of similar stories. Inspirations appear to include Michael Mann – with whom writer Ken Solarz worked on Miami Vice – through to classic James Cagney.

USA / 1997

Director: John Irvin
Writer: Ken Solarz

Cast: Harvey Keitel, Stephen Dorff, Timothy Hutton, Famke Janssen, Wade Dominguez, Lucy Liu,