A robbery homicide investigation triggers a series of events that will cause a corrupt LAPD officer to question his tactics.A robbery homicide investigation triggers a series of events that will cause a corrupt LAPD officer to question his tactics.A robbery homicide investigation triggers a series of events that will cause a corrupt LAPD officer to question his tactics.
This film was slightly over-hyped when it came out. I agree that it is a solid cop thriller that rises above recent offerings from the genre but to give it as much praise as it garnered at the time is to give it more than it deserves. The basic plot is on two levels. On the first level the film is about police corruption and sees a corrupt house of cards teetering on the brink of collapse. This bit works well and the cop thriller element works well even if it treads familiar ground. The second level is the background of the Rodney King trial and the LA riots. This aspect is very much wallpaper and I didn't really feel it was necessary for the main narrative to work. At best it complimented the ongoing tensions between community and cops, at worst it distracts from the main thrust.
Russell does give one of his strongest performances in recent years and is not afraid to be an unsympathetic lead character. However the rest of the cast are either not as good or not as well used. Speedman has to carry most of the moral weight of the film and it is clearly too heavy for him and can't do it convincingly. Rhames is simply not used very well and is almost supplementary to requirements. Gleeson is miscast - he is an able actor but the film required him to be a generation older than Perry, in reality they were the same age more or less. Michele is sexy and is reasonably well used for a support character and Kurupt is good even if he is playing the character that he plays daily in his rapper personae.
Overall this was a superior cop thriller that was enjoyable as same. It did a reasonable job looking at the real life issues of corruption in the LAPD but not as well as perhaps other reviews would have led you to believe - it is more a wallpaper or just a theme that is used to prop up the narrative rather than a real good historic look at the time.
- bob the moo
- Jan 1, 2004