Policemen Ali Sokhela and Brian Epkeen investigate the brutal murder of a young white woman, apparently provoked by the availability of a new illegal drug and somehow connected to the disappearance of black street children.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Dan Fletcher
Inge Beckmann ...
Ruby
Tinarie van Wyk Loots ...
Claire Fletcher
Regardt van den Bergh ...
De Beer
Randall Majiet ...
Cat
...
Dr. Joost Opperman
Joelle Kayembe ...
Zina
...
Tara
Danny Keogh ...
Kruger
Christian Bennett ...
Stan
Iman Isaacs ...
Janet
Nomhle Nkonyeni ...
Josephina (as Nomhle Nkoyeni)
...
Shebeen Queen
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Storyline

As a child, Ali Neuman narrowly escaped being murdered by Inkatha, a militant political party at war with Nelson Mandela's African National Congress. Only he and his mother survived the carnage of those years. But as with many survivors, the psychological scars remain. Today, Ali is chief of the homicide branch of the South African police in Cape Town. One of his staff is Brian Epkeen, a free-wheeling white officer whose family was originally involved in the establishment of apartheid but who works well with Neuman. Together they have to deal with crime that inevitably exists in sprawling areas of un- and under- employed people, crime exacerbated by gangs, both local and from other parts of Africa. Their job gets even more difficult when the corpses of two young women are found. A new evil has been introduced in the city and a new drug has been introduced to its residents, including both murder victims. At the chaotic crossroads where brutality and modernization collide, the echoes of... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, grisly images, language, sexuality/nudity and drug content | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

4 December 2013 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Cape Town Cops  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Djimon Hounsou was originally set to star, but dropped out and was replaced by Forest Whitaker. See more »

Quotes

Brian Epkeen: Yebo Baba.
Ali Sokhela: You look like hell.
Brian Epkeen: I'm happy to see you too.
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Connections

References Lethal Weapon (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A bit of a plodder
16 April 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Officers Ali Sokhela (Forest Whitaker) and Brian Epkeen (Orlando Bloom) begin investigating the death of a young woman who has been killed by an illegal drug that has recently been supplied to her. In addition to investigating her death, Sokhela and Epkeen also discover that several black people within the area are also either dying or disappearing in mysterious circumstances. Both officers believe that there is a link between the woman's death and the deaths involving black people and set about trying to establish how all the deaths are connected....

Given South Africa's rather turbulent and fraught history regarding its 'race-relations' policy a film like Zulu can either be seen as brave or misguided. As an open-minded person myself I tried to view this film objectively and basically take it for what it is and sadly even going in with this forgiving mind-set I still left feeling rather disappointed....

For a start the story is unbearably slow and just isn't that compelling (all this despite the fact that it is possibly interesting when looked upon from a recent historical perspective). I haven't read the book and therefore I can't comment on how the characters are perceived in the original source material, but in this film with Whitaker and Bloom I felt like the screenwriters were attempting to portray their characters similar to Murtagh and Riggs from Lethal Weapon - this is more noticeable with Bloom who is the unhinged, gung-ho police officer with a drink problem. The difference between these two films is that Riggs was better developed in Lethal Weapon in that we at least understand why he behaved the way that he did? Bloom's character shares similar traits, but we're never really given any explanation as to why he is the way that he is? Is it because his marriage broke down? The problematic relationship with his child was badly handled and his constant visits to his ex-wife were distracting and often dragged the story in a direction that it didn't need to go in. All this makes him hard to take to as a character and even harder to like or care about. Forest Whitaker gives another good performance and his character is slightly better developed, but again he isn't a particularly interesting character (the most interesting thing about watching his performance was seeing his Idi Amin accent come out of retirement once more).

Once I'd made the analogy between the two cops here and the two cops in Lethal Weapon it only reminded me of how dull this film is in comparison. Whilst it may be set during a rather important period in South Africa's history the film sadly is held back by dull and uninteresting characters, and a story that isn't as compelling as it may seem due to its rather plodding nature.


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