Saturday, May 16, 2009

Street Kings. B

Glittering entertainment can either be a movie that is both a great film and incredibly fun to watch, or a sparkling, visually beautiful picture filled with thoughtful, evocative images. 'Street Kings' is neither, though I'm happy to say that that certainly does not make it a bad movie. It's a rough, bloody action drama with a rebellious nature and a hero who acts like a criminal, almost. His name is Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves) and he's an LA detective who has a knack for killing people when he's trying to solve a case. Tom, after uncovering the disappearance of two missing children, gets in a convenience store scuffle with his former partner, a detective named Washington (Terry Crews) who snitched on him to Infernal Affairs captain James Biggs (Hugh Laurie). Washington was tired of how Tom worked, and was upset by the poor quality of the unit, which is run by Jack Wander (Forest Whitaker). Unfortunately, during the scuffle, two men, apparently robbers, enter the store and shoot Washington dead. Other cops in Ludlow's unit become angry with him, as they believe he could be responsible for Washington's death. Ludlow, who wants to make amendment for the death, teams up with detective Paul Diskant (Chris Evans) and works to find Washington's killers. This is a fun, gritty action movie. Director David Ayer and writer James Ellroy do a good job of creating a somewhat realistic movie in the midst of the all the shooting and blood. I had a slight problem with Reeves character though, because he isn't really that likable, due to his anger management issues and alcohol addiction. Then again, it seems like only someone with his persona would be able to pull through the mystery. 'Street Kings' has several twists, as well as some very nice performances, particularly from Cedric the Entertainer and Hugh Laurie. Overall, it's nowhere near as good as LA Confidential (the both share similar themes and the same writer) because it's hard to really take that seriously, but it's a solid action flick nonetheless. (note, if you have seen the film 'Speed,' which also stars Reeves, then look for the line: 'Harry, I thought you were dead,' in this movie.)

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