As someone whose early adulthood was spent in Manhattan at night, I was familiar with the rave scenes, and knew to avoid it for the very reasons the film promulgates. There are the usual over the top clichés, wherein the talking heads of the film proclaim the rave scene as making a youth culture for the world, but, in reality, techno and electronica music died on the vine, and hip hop (the watered down version of hardcore rap) is not exactly known as a progenitor of culture. And if Moby is the best the film can do, in regards to talking heads, you know you're in trouble.
But, the film shines as a police procedural, even if, at 102 minutes at length it often feels like a bloated A&E special on the 1980s. Gatien, deported after being cleared of criminal charges, and nailed on tax charges (ironically just like 1920s Chicago kingpin Al Capone), is not hagiographized, but the film could have done a much better job of fleshing out his personal issues. Likely, given his daughter's role as co-producer, this was a taboo subject for the cameras.
Corben's film is slick and polished, but its lead subject is just not that interesting. Yes, it is fascinating to hear about how routinely the justice system is abused, and why- so that middle class malcontents can feel smugly superior in the little moralities, but, after such gas deflations, what is really left? There are the usual bevy of talking heads (including former New York Mayor Ed Koch), but little of relevance is put forth, outside of the recounting of Gatien's case. Archival video and film footage fill in the rest, but the lesson to be culled is that the pre-9/11 New York was, for all its glory on cleaning up crime under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, still a cesspool of corruption, only this time of the institutionalized variety. One hopes that Corben returns to this subject in a later film.