In 1972, Burt Reynolds was about to explode into superstardom with his iconic role in "Deliverance". Earlier that same year, audiences must have been disappointed with his starring role in FUZZ.
You can feel this movie straining to be something it isn't. It's not really an action movie, even though its got a couple decent action scenes. It tries to be a comedy, but it's not very funny.
It also tries very hard to be in the same vein as Robert Altman's hugely successful "M*A*S*H" that had just been a huge hit. Scenes run into each other, dialogue overlaps into confusion and they try very hard to be Altman, but dont even come close.
It's a shame, since the source material, Ed McBain's cop novels about the 87th precinct are superb.
Reynolds stars as Detective Steve Carella and Tom Skerritt (Alien) is Detective Kling, hot on the trail of a mad bomber threatening to kill an ever escalating list of Boston city officials unless a ransom is paid.
Because one plot isn't noisy enough, they also are trying to catch some young hoodlums setting homeless people on fire (charming) and a robbery gang on the prowl.
Raquel Welch is gorgeous but given little to do as a Detective brought in as a decoy for a rapist on the prowl. Poor Raquel's big scenes are staged so ineptly you cant help but feel bad for her.
Yul Brynner is underused and Jack Weston is overused, as is a very unfunny gag about two painters painting every surface of the precinct a hideous green.
It all falls very flat, wasting a lot of talent and collapsing under its own mechanics before the final act, which wraps up all the mysteries far too easily.
Welch hated Reynolds after comments he had made about her while filming "100 Rifles" in 1969, so they have no direct eye contact in the film. They filmed their scenes separately and were never on set at the same time!
That lack of camaraderie comes across on film, as does the complete lack of cohesive story telling.
Here comes the FUZZ and there goes the entertainment. This misfire gets a D.
United Artists even pandered to Reynolds centerfold in Cosmopolitan that year by splashing him in the same pose on the poster and dressing Welch up like Barbarella in the artwork. Looks like they did whatever they could to get bodies in the theatre before word of mouth arrested this one at the starting gate.