Reasons I love it:
It is the epitome of lurid, awesome neon sleaze and outright fucking amazing.
Also the relentless amount of male nudity. William Peterson (Gil Grissom from the original CSI) hangs dong in like the first 20 minutes. Willem Dafoe burns money in a fireplace naked then fucks his GF on TV. He also visits her at work (her work being face painted interpretive dance, because 1985) then fucks her in the dressing room in front of another dancer. Before he leaves for the big deal at the end of the movie, he gives her the gift of lesbian love.
This movie is a humorless super serious crime/revenge drama that blends the lines of morality and law and the thin line that these secret service agents walk and what lengths they’ll go through to catch a counterfeiter, yet there is a revenge nut shot sub plot featuring a super young John Turturro.
Let me restate: YOU SEE THE GUY FROM CSI’S SCROTE.
The fucking car chase. The way Peterson’s partner just bugs the fuck out in the backseat because Peterson was the one actually driving the car on the wrong side of the freeway.
Dafoe graphically shoots a guy square in the penis at nearly point blank range (there’s a close up), and instead of killing him right then and there he just lets the guy writhe and scream for what feels like 15 minutes.
There’s a strip club scene featuring Dance Hall Days, because Wang Chung is the only music allowed to exist in this universe.
Seriously the car chase is my favorite car chase in any movie ever.
This movie has an almost fetishistic approach to point blank close ups of buckshot hitting faces. Seriously, there’s like 4 or 5 slow motion close up headshots.
William Peterson makes Martin Riggs look like Andy fucking Taylor.
This movie originated both the “I’m too old for this shit” and “dying 2 days before retirement” tropes.
Robert Downey, Sr. plays the “stupid chief”.
The ending is probably one of the darkest endings ever.