Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Movies about dirty cops are a dime a dozen, and tend to go to far. This movie reached further than most, reaching the point of absurdity. There have been a few cases over the years of rampant corruption, which is unfortunate. But when you take far-reaching corruption combined with an intensely complicated set of circumstances and try to cram it all into near real-time...you end up with a confusing mess. This movie is a confusing bloody mess.
This film drops us in the middle of a bad morning. We watch an officer meet with Internal Affairs officers (right in front of his house) and discuss his pending testimony later in the day. He meets up with his partner and they embark on an incredible journey. The Captain, in fear that someone is going to rat him out to IA sets the boys up with the intention of having them taken out. The officers blindly find their way out of trouble only to find themselves in deeper trouble. They seem to find a way to get every major players in the drug game chasing after them. They end up in a deadly game of cat and mouse...they are both the mice. Karma (and bad writing) catch up to them both before they ever get a chance to testify.
It's hard to knock the acting, when you have a cast led by stellar performers like Clifton Collins Jr and Cuba Gooding Jr. These two actors have had some stellar roles in their careers. I like both actors and felt that they both did an excellent job given the material they had to work with. I would especially point out that Collins' role involved flashbacks and dramatic sequences where he is exorcising his demons. I thought Collins was brilliant in spite of the writing, which was otherwise bland and complicated. I like Keith David, the crooked Captain in this movie, but his character wasn't believable for me, and he wasn't able to sell it.
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