Certainly, there is undeniably a full-on kick to some of the films depictions of the leather bar scene notably a scene where one patron is all but seen to be anally fisting another man. (These scenes were shot in actual gay bars and the people in the background are real patrons not extras). Outside of its in-your-face portrait of the scene, the film is mixed. The plot is a dogged police procedural there is no tension to it, no racking suspense, just a dull unfolding. The revelation at the end that the killers father has been dead for over ten years and the subtle realisation that the scene of him talking to his father in the park earlier was all entirely in his head is one striking and effective moment of which Cruising could have done with more of.
The film lacks an emotional connection as well Al Pacinos character is supposed to be deeply affected by his immersion in the gay scene to the extent that he is cracking up but how it is affecting him we never know. Is it becoming involved in cruising in one startling shot, we see Pacino having allowed himself to be tied up butt-naked on a bed and being threatened with a knife if so, we never know, for this encounter and what a straight guy had to go through to allow that to happen is something that is never explored, nor is it never mentioned again. Al Pacino was cast in the role after a string of cop parts following Serpico (1973) but his moody introverted handsomeness is exactly what the film does not need the films emotional centre is left trapped inside Pacino and the events of the film seem remote from what ever is happening to him.
Interior. Leather Bar. (2013) was a quasi-documentary co-directed by James Franco that sets out to reconstruct the missing 40 minutes of hardcore footage that were cut from the film.
William Friedkins other genre films are: The Exorcist (1973), the classic tale of demonic possession; Deal of the Century (1983), a black comedy about arms smuggling; Rampage (1987), an interesting courtroom serial killer thriller that debated the Insanity Plea; The Guardian (1990) about a baby-snatching Druidic babysitter; The Hunted (2003) about a man hunting humans for sport; and the claustrophobic Bug (2006).