Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Zero Mostel, Ted De Corsia
Director: Bretaigne Windust
Running Time: 85 mins
The Enforcer is an American film about a district attorney who, after countless attempts, finds the right opportunity to put the leader of a criminal murder organisation in the electric chair, although his plan doesn’t come without complications.
This has all the hallmarks of a classic film-noir. Humphrey Bogart in the main role, intrigue, deception and unpredictability throughout, and very stylistic direction. However, due to a poorly-paced story coupled with average writing, this just isn’t as engrossing and captivating as a good film-noir should be.
It’s not awful, however. The central performance by Bogart is just as impressive as you’d expect, still echoing the classic suaveness and ingenuity of Sam Spade from The Maltese Falcon. As a result, it’s easy to keep yourself interested in Bogart’s character, who is massively supportable right the way through.
Also, the plot is occasionally very unpredictable and exciting. Although it does take quite a while to really get going, the final act here is very interesting, and ultimately a good bit of excitement.
Despite that, this film still isn’t the most captivating thing you’ll ever see. The story takes far too long to get going, some of the more intricate deceptions and complexities aren’t particularly convincing or intriguing, and it just never has that iconic air of mystery that the greatest film-noirs of history have.
Yes, there is unpredictability here, but it all comes far too slowly and far too late, meaning that for a good three-quarters of the film, there’s very little to be interested or impressed by, apart from Bogart’s central performance, and also the direction of Bretaigne Windust, who manages to give this film at least the look of an all-time classic film-noir, and that’s why I’m giving The Enforcer a 7.0.