Emergency Squad (1974)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller, Poliziotteschi  |   Run Time - 112 min.  |   Countries - Italy   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Donald Guarisco

Euro-cult fans expecting a fun action romp might find themselves surprised by Emergency Squad. Despite the exciting-sounding title, this film is a very somber, drama-oriented affair. Director Stelvio Massi includes a few shoot-outs and car chases but otherwise downplays the action in favor of making the film a two-pronged character study. This approach works because he has a pair of strong, subtle performances to lean on from Tomas Milian and Gastone Moschin: Milian broods convincingly as the obsessive, single-minded Ravelli and Moschin manages to be both subtle and intense as icy criminal Marseilles. Their work lends the film a melancholy tone, a feel that is further enhanced by the austere location photography by Sergio Rubini and a sadly melodic score from Stelvio Cipriani. Ultimately, viewers expecting straightforward action might find themselves disappointed by the mood-piece approach of Emergency Squad, but those viewers patient enough to stick with the film will find that is rewarding on its own terms.