Picks and Pans Review: Trespass

updated 01/11/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/11/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

Bill Paxton, William Sadler, Ice-T, Ice Cube

It displays an ingenious premise and a lack of pretension, but this is basically an old-fashioned bad-guys-vs.-bad-guys gangster movie. The differences are that this film is more violent and obscene than those tommy-gun epics and that in the '30s and '40s even such third-string villains as Barton MacLane and Maxie Rosenbloom were competent actors. This cast is almost uniformly as inept as that of an eighth-grade holiday pageant.

Paxton and Sadler are Arkansas firefighters who find a treasure map and end up driving to East St. Louis, Ill., to dig up a cache of stolen gold objects in an abandoned building. At the building they encounter a gang of black thugs led by rapper Ice-T, and a derelict played by veteran character actor Art Evans. For something written by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis—the creators Back to the Future—the script is singularly lacking in wit, the cleverness of sticking two white firemen in a black neighborhood having apparently exhausted the writers' originality. Paxton and Sadler's attempt to find the gold and then get away with it occupies the last half of the movie routinely. (R)

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