After his success with Maniac (1980), director William Lustig widens expectations with the revenge flick Vigilante. Despite upgrading from 35 mm to CinemaScope, the film still retains a gritty feel. This was attained by channeling some of the trashier neighborhoods in New York for its locations. The sleazy satisfaction is still there, but it also scores as a competent drama. I only wish Robert Forster had been a little less stone cold in his acting. Everyone deals with tragedy differently, but nary a tear is shed for his loss. From the building crescendo in Jay Chattaway's score to the satisfying pursuits of each villain, Vigilante is a modern day western.
3½ car bombs out of 5