* AcceptableEthnicTargets: In the very opening: a kefiah-wearing suicide bomber is yelling "death to Israel and America, and all the enemies of Islam!".
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Chance '''is this trope.''' Is he really despondent and vengeful over Hart's death, or is he using it as an excuse to [[ItAmusedMe feed his adrenaline addiction]]?
** Masters as well. Some see him as a MagnificentBastard, a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds with NietzscheWannabe tendencies, or just a straight bad guy.
* BaseBreaker: The jury is still out whether or not this movie is ''better'' than ''Film/TheFrenchConnection'' or simply one of Friedkin's best.
** Or just an average movie from a director with his glory days behind him but a long way still to go before hitting rock bottom.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: Especially considering it was a throwback to grim and gritty 70s-era crime films during a decade when feel-good, BlackAndWhiteMorality action films were the order of the day.
* FoeYay: Masters and Chance; the former certainly enjoys patting down the latter shortly before he tells him "You're beautiful." Chance later returns the favor, presumably sarcastically, but it's hard to be sure.
-->'''Masters''': Is this my package?
* ItWasHisSled: It's difficult to find anyone who's heard of this movie without them knowing of [[spoiler:Chance's death roughly fifteen minutes before the end.]]
* LesYay: Serena and Bianca have a bit of an unspoken relationship throughout the movie, culminating in a ''Film/ThelmaAndLouise'' moment at the very end. But before that, [[spoiler:they actually have sex. And Masters knows]].
* MagnificentBastard: Masters, according to some.
* MoralEventHorizon: In the second half of the movie, [[spoiler:Chance himself crosses this when he robs Thomas Ling, the FBI agent. And if that wasn't enough, he doesn't bat an eyelash about it after Ling was accidentally shot by the men who were trying to rescue him.]]
* NightmareFuel: The deaths of Jimmy Hart and [[spoiler:Chance himself at the end]]. Arguably the most accurate depictions of a shotgun blast to the head ever caught on film. [[NauseaFuel And it works.]]
* RetroactiveRecognition: It's [[{{CSI}} Gil Grissom]].
** Also, [[QuantumLeap Al]] in a supporting role.
** And [[Film/SpiderMan Norman Osborn]] was messing around with another form of green.
** [[TheBigLebowski Jesus]] is a jailed counterfeiter Chance needs the services of.
*** Taking it even further, [[TheBigLebowski Jesus]] is working for [[TheLastTemptationOfChrist Jesus Christ]].
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: To modern audiences, it can seem like a litany of every [[TheEighties '80s]] and [[TheNineties '90s]] cop movie trope/cliche eventually parodied in ''Film/LastActionHero'' and the [=McBain=] movies-within-the-show on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' - from [[{{Retirony}} the cop days from retirement who gets killed on the job]] to the [[HollywoodCalifornia totally tubular LA setting]] to the exact line ([[BeamMeUpScotty ''not'' uttered in]] ''Film/LethalWeapon''), "I'm getting too old for this shit." Except when you look closer, it turns out this movie predates [[TropeCodifier ''Lethal Weapon'']] by two years and would have been well into production around the same time ''MiamiVice'' debuted.
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible: Probably why Masters burns his paintings and hangs out with strangely-costumed interpretive dancers.
* VindicatedByHistory: When first released, the film was treated with "[[SoOkayItsAverage meh]]" reviews and vanished at the box office. It has since been reevaluated, with some saying it is as good as, if not ''better'', than ''Film/TheFrenchConnection''.
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