Review Date: October 07, 2001
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: David Ayer
Producers: Robert Newmyer, Jeffrey Silver
And Denzel, well, what can you say about Mr. Washington that hasn't already been said before? He comes through as per his usual high-level style here, and gives the audience a completely different side to his talent, of which, I personally would like to see more. He's nice, he's not so nice, he's smart, he's not so smart, he's caring and he's a dog all the way. The few problems that I did have with this film included the redundant nature of the whole thing at some point (okay, we get it...you have to be nasty in order to deal with these nasty people...move on) and this one really major "coincidence" which involved a bathtub, that saved the day for one character, but seemed a little too "convenient" for my taste. I also never really understood how Washington's character got out of a certain dire predicament, only to be seen driving his car in the very next scene. But obviously these small flaws didn't taint my overall enjoyment of this tense drama, a film that gets you right into the streets, into the nooks and the crannies, and into the moral dilemma which lies between the justice system and the day-to-day drug busts. See it if you want to wrestle with some of these issues yourself, see it if you want to see Denzel and Ethan strike up a palpable chemistry on-screen, and see it if you like holding on to your seat-handles real tight during a movie. In fact, see it for the scene in which Ethan Hawke plays cards with a host of gang-bangers alone...dang, now that's intense!