A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.
Nick Pulovski (Clint Eastwood) is a cop, who is presently assigned to the auto theft division and who for the most part of his career has not done anything worthwhile. But when he discovers that a man named Strom (Raul Julia) is the brains behind a major car theft and chop shop ring, he sees this as his opportunity to do something. After his partner Powell (Hal Williams) is killed, the case is then transfered to homicide, so he is taken off the case. And he is assigned a new partner, David Ackerman (Charlie Sheen). a cop who has just recently been promoted to detective. But Pulovski feeling as if Strom is his, and decides to continue pursuing him, but Ackerman who tries to play by the rules is not sure what to do, and he is also a little afraid because of a childhood incident.Written by
No police captain would ever disparage an officer who had been shot. The fact that Sheen's character was struck in the back was irrelevant as the criminals who did so intending to murder a fellow officer. Such an outburst would have at the very least resulted in the captain having to apologize to the officer, if not lose his/her position for doing as such. See more »
The UK cinema version was cut by 10 secs for a 15 certificate to reduce footage of gunshots and a closeup of Pulovski's forehead being cut with a razor blade. The cuts were restored in 18 rated video releases. See more »
Will likely disappoint action and/or Eastwood fans
It's clear that upon watching "The Rookie" that Clint Eastwood's heart simply was not with this project - either as a director or an actor. Possibly he only decided to do this "commercial" project so that Warner Brothers would green-light the less commercial "White Hunter Black Heart" that came out the same year. Whatever the reason, Eastwood seems to be going on autopilot in front of and behind the camera. His performance here lacks conviction, and he comes across as a cranky old man instead of a man with grit and determination. And as a director, he slips up multiple times. The action sequences are dull when they should be spectacular - the freeway chase, for example, is flat despite all the vehicles that get destroyed. The night scenes and often the interior scenes are dark and murky, making it hard to see all the details about what's going on.
And what's the deal with the dream sequence at the opening of the movie? In fact, there are a number of script boo-boos that make me surprised that Eastwood didn't demand a rewrite. Why doesn't Eastwood call for backup at the opening action sequence? Why is Raul Julia's past and motives never properly spelled out, and why is Eastwood so determined to bust him? Why do Eastwood and Sheen hardly have any real conversations between them instead of clichéd "tough cop" talk? Also, the slow-moving story at times feels like the writers were writing it as the movie was being shot, instead of using a finished screenplay. It might also explain why key actions and scenes seem to be missing from the finished product.
What really annoyed me most about "The Rookie" was all the swearing. Don't get me wrong - I use the same words in my private life, and I have seen movies I've enjoyed with plenty of swearing. But here, every curse word comes across as forced, as if a child was making this movie and gleefully adding naughty language in an effort to appear tough. It's simply not convincing. Maybe with better direction and a heavily rewritten script, it could have worked. Those things probably would have greatly improved the rest of the movie as well.
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