Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
Following the death of his employer and mentor, Bumpy Johnson, Frank Lucas establishes himself as the number one importer of heroin in the Harlem district of Manhattan. He does so by buying heroin directly from the source in South East Asia and he comes up with a unique way of importing the drugs into the United States. As a result, his product is superior to what is currently available on the street and his prices are lower. His alliance with the New York Mafia ensures his position. It is also the story of a dedicated and honest policeman, Richie Roberts, who heads up a joint narcotics task force with the Federal government. Based on a true story. Written by
Antoine Fuqua was originally set to direct this project in 2004 with Denzel Washington and Benicio Del Toro starring, but production was halted one month before shooting after Universal Pictures canceled the film over budget concerns. However, Washington and Del Toro received their salaries nonetheless. A pay-or-play deal was stipulated in both of their contracts that Universal would pay Washington $20 million and Del Toro $5 million regardless of whether the film was made or not. Once this project was green-lit by Universal a second time, under Ridley Scott's direction, Washington returned to the project without an upfront fee. He also received half of his $20 million salary for the previous year's Inside Man (2006), another Imagine Entertainment production. See more »
In one scene at Fort Bragg/Pope AFB, a modern-day C-17 Globemaster III is in the background. The Air Force added them in 1993. See more »
Unfortunately from listening to everyone else I was expecting some sort of masterpiece. That is not what I believe what I got. Yet it was still a very good movie.
The acting performances were also good but not great. Denzel Washington gave a very good performance but not Oscar worthy, it felt like I have seen this before from him. Russell Crowe just was not given the room to actually act. I wish Crowe would have been given more of an opportunity to show off his talent. Josh Brolin gave the best performance as a corrupt police officer. He displayed perfectly the corrupt cop blackmailing both sides for the benefit of himself. I do not really understand the Oscar nomination for Ruby Dee playing Frank Lucas mother. She barley even had a cameo in this movie. It is kind of sad to see how far Cuba Gooding Jr. has fallen not having much of a role in this movie.
What really kept this movie up and kind of brought it down was its steady flow and writing. It did show you some interesting things such as going to Vietnam and having a very unique and surprising place to smuggle in the drugs. Yet as I mentioned before the performances were good but not great because of the writing. I attribute this to the writing. Some of the writing did not allow some of the actors to expand as much as they could have on their roles.
Also the directing was very good but not great. Ridley Scott did show some interesting scenes and had good camera shot. The cinematography was good as well. Yet because the performances were not to great that brings him down because his job to guide arguably two of the best actors today.
This movie was a bit over-hyped but I would still recommend it. This probably could have received more recognition from the Oscars though.
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