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This New World production, directed by Harley Cokliss (Battletruck) from a story by John Carpenter, attempts some highly self-conscious narrative contortions that bring it closer to the art house than the drive-in. It's a six-tiered car-chase-cum-caper picture, with government agents, Mafia thugs, a master burglar (Tommy Lee Jones), a professional car thief (Linda Hamilton), a NASA scientist (Richard Jaeckel), and a corrupt capitalist (Robert Vaughn) vying for possession of a superpowered car in which a purloined computer tape has been hidden. Everybody's gunning for everybody else, and the plot rests on a series of insane coincidences, wild improbabilities, and outrageous fabrications, most of which become quite acceptable when welded together by the script's obsessive concern for structural symmetry. Cokliss's direction strains for a stylishness it doesn't achieve, yet his fundamentally straightforward style brings out the abstract design of the plot. Is this the first cubist thriller? With Bubba Smith, Lee Ving, Dan Shor, Keenan Wynn, and Don Opper.

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