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Apr 16, 2008

Fletch's Film Review: Street Kings

At one point during Street Kings, the character played by Keanu Reeves tells his girlfriend to get away from him, as "everything [he] touches dies." If only Reeves has read that line in the script and heeded the warning.

Reeves plays Tom Ludlow, a Vice detective in L.A., the setting and occupation of almost all of director David Ayer's works. Ludlow is a miserable man, trudging through the grind of nabbing villains while his personal angst (and alcoholism) grows, as he's a widower who kind of hates his job. If only he weren't so good at it! Ludlow's boss, Captain Jack Wander (Forrest Whitaker), dotes on his star detective, especially after the strong opening sequence that features Ludlow deep undercover battling some baddies. But when it's revealed that Ludlow might not be completely true blue, as it were, Wander comes to the rescue, using his connections to assist his troubled friend.

But there's just more trouble around the corner. Tom's former partner, it seems, has been talking to Internal Affairs about some of the unseemly goings in his old Vice Squad posse. The IA captain (Hugh Laurie) is now on Tom's case as well, and an incident with the former partner partner isn't helping the situation.

I could go on with the plot summary, but it really would be pointless. The film is such a compilation of old cop movies and is so sloppily put together that you'll have it figured out within the first 15 minutes. Just about every cliche that could be put in the film was, and the only surprise you might find is the complete lack of surprises.

For what it's worth, Reeves carries on well enough with the limited material, and Whitaker shines in a role that feels like an extension of Denzel Washington's from Training Day. He makes it his own, is given some meat to work with, and is compelling to watch. Unfortunately, everyone else involved is playing a paper-thin character, and one that can be found on any cop show on TV, probably right at this second. Really, go turn on Nick at Nite or Slueth or Spike - I'm sure you can cobble together a better movie with whatever's on right now than with what Street Kings gives you.

Fletch's Film Rating:

"I want you to punch me as hard as you can."


1 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: Street Kings"

john said...

Keanu Reeves, its that matrix, :) olaa, this is matrix ;)