Monday, June 2, 2008

Street Kings *

Director: David Ayer
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie
Jay Mohr, Chris Evans, Naomie Harris, Common, Martha Higareda
John Corbett, Amaury Nolasco

From the land of bad pulp comes David Ayer's sophomore directing effort; a film about Tom Ludlow (Reeves), a corrupt LA cop haunted by his wife's death who becomes an unjustified hero after rescuing some hostages using unconventional and illegal methods.
After his former partner (Terry Crews) is murdered, Tom begins to investigate the causes and discovers a web of corruption under his very department.
He has to face an inquisitive Internal Affairs officer (Laurie) while protecting his superior (Whitaker) who he trusts and admires.
Ten minutes into the film you already know who the bad guys (i.e the responsible for the corruption) are, the problem is that the film doesn't really know it or doesn't care that we don't feel the need to discover why they did it.
Following the "L.A Confidential" rules of how to make film noir in our times, the filmmakers try to create an updated mood that still has the tortured souls, the dark cinematography and a femme fatale prospect or two, but in trying to pull off the "noir", they neglected the "film" and deliver something so by the numbers that it only thrills when you wonder how many times a man can be shot before he dies.
The ensemble work is all over the place, beginning with Reeves whose only leading man quality is the fact that he has the most scenes. In a way it's as if the whole movie sets the situations to work for him; you know he will find the exact clue at the right time or that he will find a way to work his way up to the good side of the law, because everyone else sets everything for him.
Unlike his character, Reeves doesn't need to do any dirty work to get what he wants.
Whitaker is loud and cliché, while Laurie didn't seem to bother to play his character at all, despite the fact that he should be the most ambiguous in terms of plot contribution.
The set pieces are nothing new and while the film has some good intentions, in all it's a perfect example of how to go from noir to nah.

1 comment:

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