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Street Kings (2008)
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Review Date: June 06, 2008
Director: David Ayer
Writer: James Ellroy, Kurt Wimmer, Jamie Moss
Producers: Lucas Foster, Alexandra Milchan, Erwin Stoff
Actors:
Keanu Reeves as Tom
Forest Whitaker as Captain Jack
Chris Evans as Paul
Plot:
An L.A. cop with a penchant for kicking suspect ass and asking questions later, goes a little over the line and is relegated to “desk duty” until things settle down in his unit. But when his former partner gets machine-gunned to bits by a couple of gang-bangers, the desk-jockey suddenly finds himself wondering about his place in life. Is he a bad cop gone good or a good cop gone bad? Or both?! To find out, watch the movie!
Critique:
I wasn’t expecting much when I sat down to watch this movie. I was thinking TRAINING DAY, DARK BLUE, NARC, L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (written by the same guy)…some kind of combination of all these “bad cop” movies, but with lesser actors and less “oomph” or originality. But boy was I wrong! It didn’t take long but once things got going, I really got into this movie and in a big way! I’m not sure if it was the gritty style, the serpentine storyline, the many characters involved, the solid acting all around (yes, even from the rapper dudes), the slick pacing, the action, the suspense or a combination thereof, but whatever it was, I had nachos chomping in my mouth and eyes glued to the screen during this entire movie. What was even more surprising to me was that Keanu Reeves actually did a good job as the lead cop in the film, and that took me aback because I never really considered his acting to be his greatest asset (that would his “presence”), but he really did a fine job here, as a cop caught between being a good guy, a bad guy and well…a cop. I bust the man’s balls whenever he deserves it, so it’s only right that I offer him some kudos when he comes through as well. The many questions asked during this film interested me, its many twists and turns, the backstabbings, the frontstabbings...everything worked for me, and the film’s quick pace made it all that much sweeter.

Sure, it slowed down a little here and there, and some of its happenings were a tad predictable, but its final half hour was a rollercoaster of guns, murders and resolution and I for one was right up in there. Specific kudos also have to go out to many of the “name actors” in the picture including the always-fun-to-watch Forest Whitaker, chewing the shit out of the scenery, but doing an awesome job while doing so! Others in the film included Chris Evans, Hugh Laurie, Terry Crews, Jay Mohr (great ‘stache), John Corbett, hotties Naomie Harris and Martha Higareda, and hip-hoppers The Game and Common. Like I said…a lot of people were in this movie! Oh, and I almost forgot Cedric the Entertainer. That’s right…Cedric the fuckin’ Entertainer was in this shit as well and….worked!! Trust me, folks, I was first in line in prepping to call this film a “sub-par clichéd L.A. cop-gone-bad” flick, but almost everything about the movie pulled me into its snatch and entertained the crap out of me. Heck, it even had a morality play underlying the whole thing and some pretty gruesome kills…how can you go wrong? All in all, if you’re the kind of person who appreciates cop flicks a la HEAT and DIRTY HARRY, I’m quite sure that you’re gonna enjoy the goings-on in this film. Granted, it doesn’t revolutionize the cop genre, but it definitely does a solid job of entertaining for its runtime, and as a movie-watcher (and lover)…ain’t much else that I can ask for than that.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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