I had never even heard of this film before we arbitrarily chose to watch it. Al Pacino is a hungry young cop placed undercover in New York’s gay/S&M subculture in hopes of catching a serial killer. Hijinks ensue.
Cruising shocked me. The frank manner in which homosexuality and S&M were discussed caught me off guard. There was a constant supply of leather and shirtless, sweaty, writhing men. The way in which most scenes were filmed left me feeling dirty and voyeuristic. Both Pacino’s character and I were peering into a world we shouldn’t be privy to. I must say I was enraptured.
The story itself is interesting enough; cops chasing down a deranged serial killer. Nothing too ground breaking, but an intriguing whodunit none the less. When you throw the late 70’s gay subculture into the mix it becomes something all together different. I have never seen a movie deal with certain aspects of homosexuality with such an in your face tone.
Cruising comes complete with some “wtf?!” moments. A large black cop wearing only a cowboy hat and a jock strap proceeds to smack some guys around during interrogation. If you can figure out who he is and why he needs the hat I would be greatly appreciative. Pacino’s character also gets a lesson in the meanings behind some specifically colored bandannas. It’ll make you think twice about placing that yellow piece of cloth in your back pocket. This film expertly immerses you into (for me at least) a completely foreign world.
Pacino isn’t the only name attached to this film that’s worth mentioning. Paul Sorvino is the fatherly captain, Karen Allen plays Pacino’s mousy girlfriend and Joe “Maniac” Spinell is a creepy cop! There are so many wonderful things about this film. It’s dark, gritty, hopeless and one hell of an entertaining watch. Cruising is currently avilable for instant watch on netflix.