This swiftly-directed IRA (Irish Republican Army) drama directed by the great Alan J. Pakula (Sophie's Choice) features a great cast and a handsome soundtrack and is a terrific Blu-ray experience.
The film opens with a charming vignette about a young Irish boy on a boat ride in Ireland with his father which ends with the two of them returning to their home for dinner with mom and sis before being startled by an anti-IRA assassin who breaks in and murders the father at the dinner table (with a pistol), a horrifying trauma which leads the young boy (Frankie) to join the Provisional Irish Republican Army.
When Frankie grows up, he is recruited for a special task involving the allotment of missiles from 'republican sympathizers' in America. Frankie has to live undercover with an American police officer (Tom) who soon discovers Frankie's deadly true identity.
Tom chases Frankie (while Frankie is embroiled in demoralizing IRA intrigue on American soil) and tries to convince him to surrender and give up his pro-terrorism way of life, and the film ends with a nice dramatic human message.
The film-editing is surprisingly skillful and the presentation of Irish and Irish-American biases (and yearnings) is very informative.
Pakula could have made this 'terrorism-pensive' film controversial, especially since the Provisional IRA is considered to be sitting in hell (or purgatory), however, he chose to paint a 'cultural vignette,' making this informative film surprisingly sweet (and good for 'Catch-22 storytelling').
FRANKIE: I need the money for guns.
TOM: Why didn't you tell us you're IRA?
FRANKIE: You would've thought I was a criminal.
TOM: Terrorists are criminals.
FRANKIE: It's not that simple; the Brits are ugly too.
TOM: Where does it end?
FRANKIE: Not in America; you're lucky here.
TOM: We're more sensible here.
FRANKIE: You can afford to be!
TOM: Think about who you are, not where you are.