224) Freebie and the Bean (1974) Dir: Richard Rush Date Released: December 25, 1974 (HO HO HO!?) Date Seen: July 14, 2012 Rating: 4/5
I now totally get why people like my buddy Dennis Cozzalio dig this film without reservation: it's wonderfully frenetic, especially the casual chemistry between Alan Arkin and James Caan. And oh me, oh my, that stuntwork is fantastic. I love a good car chase and I especially love a good bit of stunt-driving. So I was laughing so hard at the scene at the parade that I was practically coughing up a lung.
In a weird way, Freebie and the Bean was a very good chaser for To Live and Die in L.A. Both films star obsessed buddy cops and both narratives conclude with the abrupt realization that the goal that the film's buddy cops have been chasing is ultimately pretty meaningless. Nabbing the bad guy in the end is immaterial: it's the chase that matters.
I think this is why I sympathize and relate to my other buddy (I have more than one, ok?!) Steve Carlson when he says that he likes movies about "process." This isn't a normal buddy cop comedy, something that we're constantly being reminded of. Freebie and the Bean really are loose cannons (lookit dat poster!), the kind that would bust a powerful mob boss for indecent exposure just as soon as they would interrogate a witness's girlfriend in a state of semi-undress (ok, fine, mostly naked, you got me). Freebie and the Bean's a lil rough around the edges because of that crazy, unkempt energy. But it's also really exciting to watch for that same reason.