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Here's another movie the critics dismissed that turned out to be a
great movie. I was initially hesitant to go see the movie because of
the negative reviews, but went to see Forrest Whittaker, Hugh Laurie
and Keanu Reeves. I think most critics can't look at Reeves and not see
Bill Preston Esq or Neo. However Keanu Reeves shows range in the movie
and heads up the movie wonderfully.
This movie is a fast-paced LA Cop movie. It starts off great and never slows down. Money well spent at the Theater, and I'm the kind of guy who'd walk out of a movie that does not engage me. I would watch it again.
Over the past few years, the Action genre has continued to leave film
goers mad. We have returned to what made this genre so appealing in the
first place. We have returned to the time of classic cop thrillers such
as Serpico and Chinatown. A modern day classic...Street Kings.
Do not miss this gritty story of a rogue cop who is pushed past his limits by corruption, greed and violence. Keanu Reeves plays the role perfectly in his stunning performance as Tom Ludlow. Forest Whitaker gives an awesome supporting performance as Wander.
Although there are a few rap artists in this film, they each play street thugs, which is not a far stretch.
The best film I have seen in theaters for a LONG time, yet I feel it will be overlooked by most.
Street Kings is an instant classic!!!! -Mike
Action from beginning to end. I saw this with my sis and bro-in-law last night. We are all 50-ish grandparents and we loved it. Keanu Reeves is always getting bashed by the critics because he refuses to advertise his private life like Tom C. The man deserves his privacy, just like the rest of us. All the acting was top-notch, nothing over the top or wooden. Real testosterone, just like the law enforcers I know. You have to have the balls to be a cop these days. The Disco character was acted just like a brave newbie cop in over his head. He was not "wooden" If you like action from start to finish, go see this movie. This deserves to be a blockbuster!
Just saw it at a sneak preview and really enjoyed it. Keanu Reeves was
fantastic in this film and it really showed me what a great actor he
is. I have had a hard time imagining him in anything since The Matrix,
but he really pulled this character off and showed me what he is made
The rest of the cast is solid as a rock too, but the thing that really stood out to me was the writing. This film is a throwback to the cop thrillers of the 1970's, but with MUCH better writing and bigger budgets. There are even a few genuine laughs to go with all of of the action and it is great to see Jay Mohr doing something other than "The Ghost Whisperer!" The audience reaction in this movie was refreshing as well. It is quite easy to get absorbed in this one.
Prediction: Street Kings is the number one film on it's opening weekend.
(Synopsis) Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves), a veteran LAPD Detective, works
in a Special Vice Squad Unit in Los Angeles. Ludlow has been suffering
from depression since his wife died. On top of that, his former
partner, Detective Terrance Washington (Terry Crews) is murdered by two
gang members. Ludlow goes on a wild and reckless quest through the mean
streets of Los Angeles to track them down and get justice for
Washington. Captain Jack Wander (Forest Whitaker) is Ludlow's
supervisor who must keep him from going over the edge and out of the
cross-hairs of Internal Affairs Captain James Biggs (Hugh Laurie).
(My Comment) Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker were excellent in playing their parts. In the first 10 minutes, we get to see how good Ludlow is in using his guns. The movie races at such a fast pace, and it is so intense at times that you don't know who is the good guy or the bad guy. There are some great shootout scenes, and whatever you do, don't get in Ludlow's way, because he will take you out. Usually, the police have this cop culture of protecting each other. After they imply that Ludlow had something to do with the murder of Detective Washington, he begins to question his loyalty to his fellow officers, especially, when they hang him out to dry. At that point the movie gets real interesting. The only problem I had with the script was that it put the tough cop Ludlow in a gloomy mood the whole movie. I would have preferred him to be a cop with self-control and strength of mind. If you enjoy cop dramas, you will like this one, because it has so many twists and turns and back stabbing to keep you interested and wanting more. You will love some of Ludlow's interrogation techniques of the bad guys. (Fox Searchlight, Run Time 1:49, Rated R)(8/10)
"Street Kings" definitely has the street-cred. Keanu looks real
bad-ass, Forrest Whittaker looks like he's digging back into the
character he played on "The Shield", writer director David Ayer is no
stranger to life on the cop circuit, having written "Dark Blue" and
"Training Day among others, and the movie also brings on the token
rappers for good measure in Common and The Game. But does it work?
Reeves plays Tom Ludlow, a Vice detective on a Special Forces unit in
LA, led by Ludlow's friend and former partner Captain Wander (Forrest
Whittaker). Ludlow's a dirty cop, but he feels in a good way. He'll
execute and then tweak the crime scene if it means taking the low-lifes
off the streets for good.
His former partner Terrance Washington (Terry Crews) doesn't see it that way though, as he is in the midst of ratting him out to the head of Internal Affairs, Captain Biggs (Hugh Laurie). When he finds out, Tom follows Washington around, walking right into a convenience store robbery where Washington is gunned down execution style. Wander tells Tom he'll take care of it, but Tom is a man who values justice more than anything. He partners with a homicide detective named Diskant (Chris Evans) to follow the evidence and solve the murder.
The movie, by David Ayer, couldn't be more hard-core. It's filled with riveting gun-battles and fights and it's a movie not afraid to show some real brutal violence and blood. The verbal exchanges between characters are also exceptionally written, heated and intense with a good ear for dialogue. My favorite line by far this year is "Why don't you do the department a favor and clean your mouth out with a buck-shot." And the story pulls off a compelling morality play, sending Tom up a ladder of murder and corruption, and at the same time, climbing him further toward his own redemption. Sure, you can probably see the ending coming if your paying close enough attention, but think about it, the movie couldn't end in a better way.
This is the kind of movie Reeves is excellent in, giving his character edge and toughness but also never losing track of the character's underlying moral dilemma. Whittaker is also incredible in this movie, sinking his teeth into a character who's basically portrayed as "The Godfather" of LA. Hugh Laurie shows up every once in a while, the character feels underwritten though. Chris Evans does a decent job, Cedric The Entertainer and Jay Mohr are nice additions who add some comedy, and it's a small role but Naomie Harris deserves a shout-out for playing the down-to-earth voice of reason character.
"Street Kings" is hard-nosed, gritty film-making. The cast is right on the money, the writing and direction is terrific, and the action couldn't be more exciting. The year is still young but this is one of my favorite films so far.
I wasn't expecting to like this movie; the cop genre is not my favorite after all, but I did. I really did. It does feel like a B movie or sort of film noir, perhaps because it only cost 20 million to make. But the cast was top notch. As much as I love Keanu Reeves, I always go into any movie of his cringing, "Will he do well? Will he survive this?" And Reeves delivers with aplomb. This is easily his most nuanced role to date - he truly wears the weight of a cop who has seen and done too much on his face. The action scenes were kick ass and I loved to see Amaury Nolasco play against his Prison Break type. All the actors were great, though I thought Forest Whitaker was a little OTT.
Keanu Reeves's acting has been called Luc warm by the critics, I don't
think he is the worlds worst performer, There are so many other
performers I'd like to give that crown too has the worst, but he does
not fit in that category. So far his performances are not Oscar worthy,
but he manages to make them memorable for the most part.
Set in the mean streets of L.A. veteran cop Tom Ludlow(Keanu Reeves), who has had a strong chip on his shoulder since his wife died, uses dirty methods to get the bad guys, but his captain(Forest Whitaker) does not care, has long as he gets results. But then things begin to come down on him, When he is caught up in a shooting of a former friend turned enemy(Terry Crews), Then Tom starts being investigated on why was he there. Tom secretly begins his own investigation, he has the feeling he might have been set up, will he find out the truth, or will the truth get him killed? It was entertaining to say the least the best cop thriller since L.A. Confidental. It had great suspense and great performances by everybody in the film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's a well crafted film, with very good gun fighting scenes that tends
to become a bit overboard, but still realistic enough. The story is
predictable, but satisfying enough without being over complicated.
The main thing that make this movie better than many mediocre gangster films is Forest Whitaker. It's sad that he only got so little on screen time.
My favorite scene is not the gunfights and action scenes. It is the final showdown in the film. A true testament to the acting prowess of Forest Whitaker. He simply steal the thunder and lift the show single handedly.
Reeves on the other hand played out his character (a cop with moral dilemma) with the usual broodiness, seen-it-all personality. Pretty much like in Constantine. A well acted, believable character.
Watch this movie if you happened to walk into the cinema one weekend with nothing in mind.
I didn't go into Street Kings expecting a masterpiece, and I didn't get
one. What I did expect is what I got, more or less: a competently made
corrupt cops drama that throws on some heap-loads of stereotypes (not
just racially or ethnically but just movie stereotypes, which may
possibly be true to form them), and even crazy hysterics. If there is
any significant achievement it's in taking the cop movie into such
depraved depths it's like looking at a very entertaining infected boil:
you know it'll pop any minute, and the pus might just run out a little
bit here and there till there's more to squeeze out. There's almost an
underlying current of hopelessness that gives the movie some
intellectual lift, but at the same time it's such a time-waster that
unless you're hardcore fans of the actors it's just about worth a
Keanu Reeves goes from wooden to soggy-bottom wood as a cop who has been doing some dirty tricks to catch the bad guys lately (like setting up two Koreans- who are bad dudes for sure- by having them jack his car and then catching up with them to pop caps in their behinds), and he might be ratted out by his former partner. But when his partner is killed in very conspicuous circumstances, he goes to investigate it further while on a quasi-probation for even being at the scene of the crime (the crime, by the way, has one of the cheesiest "don't die on me" moments I've ever seen, laughably bad in how it's executed, no pun intended). Now, the conclusion shouldn't be at ANY surprise to anyone in the audience who's at least seen ONE other work by James Ellroy, the film's co-writer.
What does give it just a bit of extra lift is the extreme quality of the conclusion, how things seem so ridiculous that in any other hands this would be total nonsense. David Ayer, the director (and writer of Training Day, the perennial new millennium corrupt-cop saga), does have a good handle on the material though, even with ham-bone performance; Forest Whitaker is one of them, sadly, as he basically retreads his persona from The Last King of Scotland as the "King" of the corrupt cops. There is some not too shabby work, like a nearly phoned-in-from-House performance from Hugh Laurie (not unappreciated if you are a House fan), but it's mostly from supporting players like Jay Mohr in odd mustache and Common, the rapper, as one of the 'thugs'. It all kind of blends together as a pulpy orange of a B movie, good for something to not ponder too long over, but not as horrible as you might expect for a genre piece. It's a flavor of the season.
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