(4 of 4)
Robert Towne's plot recalls the old James Cagney melodramas in which righteous Pat O'Brien fought for his soul and rotten Humphrey Bogart tried to perforate his body. But the moral is utterly today: it's about going straight without paying the price. As handsome and slack muscled as a surfer past his prime, the movie renounces ambiguity for confusion. In the end, like an old set of tires or a frayed friendship, Tequila Sunrise just wears out. -- R.C.