To go along with this filming perfection, the acting is spectacular. Gene Hackman plays Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle, bringing a sharp edge to the character. As a NYC cop he and his partner go around intimidating drug addicts with witty, but harsh commentary. Hackman's acting is perfect for this; sharp and direct when enforcing the law, but friendly and relatable when he is with his partner. The dynamic between Jimmy Doyle and his partner Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider) also gives a buddy cop aspect to the movie. Russo and Doyle connect to each other perfectly and are a great duo in action.
The one critique I have for this film is the ending. Without giving away any spoilers, I felt as though the ending could have played out a bit more. Friedkin takes a cop-out direction for the ending of the film and I just wished to see more. Honestly, I would have loved if the film were two hours long just to create a more solid close.
The Bottom Line: This film is one the strongest directed and acted cat-and-mouse chase that I have seen to date!