On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes beyond a full work day in training within the narcotics division of the L.A.P.D. with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.
After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.
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
The C-130 in the movie is actually a C-130A, with different pylon tanks and 3-bladed props. During Vietnam, C-130's were painted in a camouflage pattern. The uniform gray paint scheme was introduced in the late 1980's. See more »
At the end of the closing credits, Frank Lucas approaches the camera and fires one shot from a pistol directly at the audience. See more »
The 175 min.-unrated extended version includes approx. 19 minutes of additional footage not seen in the theatrical release. Among the highlights are:
A flashback with Frank Lucas and Bumpy Johnson on a boardwalk
A short scene showing Richie Roberts acquiring office space for his new narcotics task force (this added scene follows immediately after Toback assigns Roberts to head up the federal investigation using honest cops of Roberts' choice)
A nighttime scene where Roberts and his team tail a drug pusher with a stash of Blue Magic to an auto body shop; the next morning, Spearman strikes a deal with the shop owner "Scott" over the phone, which leads up to Roberts under disguise dropping off $20,000 to get a supply of Blue Magic
In the Bronx, right after Spearman drops off Roberts and informs him that he'll circle the block, an extended scene takes place where Roberts sees both Scott take off in his Jeep and Spearman getting blocked by a broken-down truck, unable to reach Roberts. In desperation, Roberts stops a yellow cab and shows his badge, argues with the uncooperative cabbie to use it, and eventually decks the cabbie in the face to take control of the cab and quickly pursues the escaping drug pusher, ending with Roberts following the unsuspecting Scott on foot.
After the Christmas visit with Charlie Williams, there's an extended scene with Frank and Eva back at their home, where Frank reminisces how Bumpy gradually stayed more and more at home towards the end of his life because of constant police surveillance. He then asks Eva if she wants to go out, nevertheless.
An extended ending in 1991 where Lucas upon release from jail is picked up by Roberts, and the two make their way towards the intersection of 116 St. and Frederick Douglass Blvd, conversing while drinking lattes.
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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