Walter Hill’s best movie in years was held up for months by Universal, which had planned to release it in the summer of 1992 under its original title 'The Looters.' Once the L.A. riots hit, a scared Universal quickly pushed the release date back to Christmas and changed the title. It was worth the wait.Bill Paxton and William Sadler are two Arkansas firemen who find out about a cache of gold in a burnt-out St. Louis tenement. They go there to dig out the gold but run afoul of local gangstas Ice T and Ice Cube.
Some called the movie racist, but the only sympathetic characters are Paxton, a disabled black junkie (De’Voreaux White from Die Hard) and a homeless black guy (Art Evans) holed up in the tenement. Hill stages some typically electric action scenes, and the film manages to be what his Johnny Handsome tried to be but wasn’t — a tough, cynical thriller that delivers.Solid performances from the two Bills and the two Ices.