Seeing this again for the first time since it was in theaters 35 years ago, I realized this is a very odd film. A strange blend of low budget 1970s street grittiness and realism, and low-brow Hollywood fantasy and cliché.
I appreciate the bittersweet ending, much of the writing, and some of the acting (Burgess Meredith), as well as the very well done fight choreography.
But other moments come off as amateurish improvisation, over the top performances, and old-fashioned hokum (e.g. Talia Shire's absurd physical transformation from over-the-top uber-nerdette, to sexy young love interest).
Still, enjoyable and fun, if not quite the great film I remember it as.