Director Walter Hill’s brawny gangsta treasure hunt follows two Arkansas firemen (Bill Paxton and William Sadler) as they journey to a (supposedly) abandoned warehouse in East St. Louis upon the discovery that it’s the hiding place for a stash of gold; soon, they run afoul of the local criminal syndicate, led by King James (Ice T) and his combative lieutenant, Savon (Ice Cube), who had chosen the isolated location as a place to confront one of their disloyal colleagues. After the firemen witness the thug getting whacked, things get hot — and a lot more interesting, once King James and company find out just what these two white boys are there for. A simple but extremely well-made thriller featuring infectiously enthusiastic performances by the entire ensemble (including Art Evans, who steals the show as a savvy homeless man squatting in the warehouse); Hill directs with his usual alpha-male bravado and Ry Cooder delivers an atmospheric, crunchy electric guitar score (that he would recycle almost note for note less than four years later for another Hill-directed turf war action flick, Last Man Standing). An urban fable with the not-so-subtle message of Greed is Not Good, Trespass managed to sneak in just under the wire with a December 30th release date to qualify it as one of the (rather surprisingly) best films of ’92.
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