The protagonist, Detective Ludlow, is a man on a mission, his mind scrambled by the recent death of his beloved wife, he pulls no punches even when he becomes embroiled in the framing of a police officer's murder, Ludlow sets out to uncover the mysteries that are haunting him. You could label "Street Kings" as just another crime film with Keanu Reeves inserted into the lead role, but it's more than that, Reeves showcases high standards of acting ability and makes you feel empathetic towards his poor detective character.
The supporting cast features some real heavy hitters, most notably Forest Whitaker as Captain Wander, head of Detective Ludlow's unit, from the very beginning there was a sense that something was not quite right with this character, but any clues as to his real motives were expertly kept under wraps until the time came for him to reveal his true colours.
A young, pre-Captain America Chris Evans showed real credibility and talent as Detective Diskant, a partner of sorts for Ludlow, who's natural demise came later in the film than I thought it would, giving the young actor some extra exposure and screen time, which he duly lapped up.
Yes "Street Kings" is quite racist and incredibly tongue in cheek but that just adds to the realism, helping to flesh the film out and give it an added dimension, if you are easily offended by certain things then I'd definitely avoid this film.
The presentation was dark and disturbing, illustrating the underbelly of LA perfectly..., the tones and colours chosen were apt and even during the daylight hours there was a sense of darkness in the air, painted onto the screen by a perfectly qualified cinematographer and art department, kudos to them..., drawing you further into the story and making the mystery more intriguing.
Alas my final note is to say, not an exceptional film, but a fine film that will keep you gripped until the end, enjoy!