This Charles Bronson vehicle tackles a serious subject – the profiteering in illicit Mexican immigration – with workmanlike dramatic skill and a notable preference for realism over hokum.
The film’s big name is self-effacing almost to the point of elusiveness. As a long-serving, compassionate border patrolman, Bronson is hunched and hated virtually throughout; his face is mostly masked by heavy shadow.
The professionally-honed, conventional plot pits him against a younger, ruthless racketeer who runs wetbacks across the border at an exploitative price on behalf of a US business corporation.
Newcomer Ed Harris is memorable as the frontline villain, displaying screen presence to match the star’s and thus injecting a powerful sense of danger.