Recovering alcoholic ex-LAPD private detective Fritz Brown is hired by caddie "Fat Dog" to follow his kid sister, who is holed up with an old sugar daddy. The trail leads to his old police boss Cathcart, and the bodies start to pile up.
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Tommy J. Michaels,
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Fritz Brown is an ex-LAPD, recovering alcoholic who now splits his time repossessing cars for a used car lot and staffing his one-man private detective agency. When a filthy caddie named Freddy "Fat Dog" Baker wanders into Fritz's office one day, flashing a wad of cash, Fritz is hired to follow Fat Dog's kid sister Jane, who is holed up with a Beverly Hills sugar daddy named Sol Kupferman. Kupferman is a 70 year-old bag man for the mob, and Fat Dog claims that "Solly K" is up to something evil that may harm Jane. The trail leads Fritz to an encounter with his dark past in the person of Haywood Cathcart, current head of LAPD internal affairs and the person who kicked Fritz off the police force. But what is Cathcart doing in business with a mobster? And why is Jane shacked up with a man old enough to be her grandfather? Fritz starts asking some questions, and the answers are all bad news. Fritz finds himself back on Haywood Cathcart's short list, and as the bodies start to pile up ... Written by
The beer bar Fat Dog uses as his contact point "Rustic Inn" is a real bar in L.A. called Ye Rustic Inn. It was not altered for the film in any way- it was perfect as a low life sleazy underbelly of the city hangout. Keifer Southerland, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have been spotted there. See more »
...Brown's Requiem tells the story of Fritz Brown, a private investigator and part time repo man who was at one time an officer in the LAPD -- and is currently an on-the-wagon alcoholic. Fritz is hired by an obese golf caddy who calls himself Fat Dog (MadTV's Will Sasso) to watch over his sister (Selma Blair) who is currently shacked up with a wealthy older man. Fritz soon finds himself involved in a complicated plot involving Fat Dog's murder, a former football player turned racketeer and the Internal Affairs chief who had Fritz thrown off the force (the late, great character actor Brion James).
I've not read Ellroy's novel (it's one of the few Ellroy novels I haven't read) but I understand it was his first. If this film is a faithful adaptation, then it serves as the filmic representation of the birth of Ellroy's signature devices: flawed "heroes," gruesome violence, perversions, sadism and a filthy Los Angeles underbelly, all of which are on display here. Star/producer Michael Rooker does a fantastic job conveying a character who strives for redemption and allows the possibility of it to pull him into a world of murder and depravity he was not ready for. The direction is tight, the mystery is intriguing and the film is littered with memorable bit roles by such character actors as the aforementioned Brion James, Brad Dourif, Lee Weaver and Tobin Bell.
Fans of film noir should give this one a go, as should fans of star Michael Rooker and author James Ellroy. It's not perfect but it surely deserved better than the direct-to-video release it received here in the U.S.
A solid 7/10.
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