An aimless young man who is scalping tickets, gambling and drinking, agrees to coach a Little League team from the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago as a condition of getting a loan from a friend.
LAPD detective Tom Ludlow is a ruthlessly efficient, unorthodox undercover cop. Captain Jack Wander always covers for Tom, as do even his somewhat jealous colleagues. After technically excessive violence against a vicious Korean gang during the liberation of a kidnapped kid sex slave, Tom becomes the target of IA's hotshot, captain James Biggs, who feels passed over after Wander's promotion to chief. Tom's corrupt, disloyal ex-patrol partner Terrence Washington sides with IA but is killed during a shop robbery in Tom's presence. Written by
Okay thriller had too many cooks and was too long in the oven to as good as it should have been
James Ellroy penned tale of a cop, played by Keanu Reeves, who is a loose cannon sent on the trail of the killer of his murdered partner. Protected by his captain because he can get things done and hounded by Internal Affairs, Reeves soon finds he is descending into a world that he really should not be part of. Reeves is okay, if a bit wooden as our antihero. Part of the problem is that he isn't given a great deal to do beyond allowing events to play out around him. To be certain he is a participant in events but there is a coldness to him that doesn't give a great many clues as to what is happening inside him. One would suspect he took the role because it offered him a chance to say some pithy lines, and behave in a more or less serious manner. The rest of the cast is quite good and one suspects that Forest Whitaker (as his boss) and Hugh Laurie (The Internal Affairs guy) took the roles because they got to play a bit against type. Good instead of great the films script, a long time in the oven, shows signs of being worked and reworked so much that the script becomes confused because too many hands lost track of what was going on. Rest assured that the central thrust and much of the dialog seems to be the work of Ellroy, the ending is most assuredly his in plot if not writing, but all of the details the additional writers have added have blurred what ever had attracted a long line of directors and stars to the project. Worth a look on DVD or cable where you're more likely to forgive the flaws.
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