Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Review - Street Kings

A veteran vice cop, Tom Ludlow, has to decipher through a web of deceit and secrets to uncover the truth of his ex-partner's murder that he may be implicated in. Officer Ludlow must go deeper than he has been before and uncover truth about the cops he has surrounded himself with his whole career, ultimately questioning their true motives.

This gritty cop drama is directed by Daid Ayer (Harsh Times), and does its best job taking the viewer through the various riddled plot twists in the film. The cunning tale is heavy on violence and gun play, and has a strong script that helps to make it overall an enjoyable ride. The film is very dark in nature, moves at a great pace, and all of the performances are very strong adding to it's likability. Overall Street Kings exceeded beyond my expectations, which were low going in.

Keanu Reeves delivers a very typical performance in Street Kings, and feels very much at home as the grizzled detective. I have come to get very use to Keanu's low and mono-tone delivery, but here it works quite well with his character. Tom Ludlow is a very weary veteran cop, who has lost his wife in an un-closed case, and spends most of his time drinking. Call me crazy, but Keanu Reeves reminds me of Clint Eastwood! They both have they mono-tone deliveries and are great as badass cops!

Chris Evans is starting to impress me! His work in Sunshine and here in Street Kings, is very good! He plays detective Paul Diskant, who is assinged to Ludlow's ex-partners murder. Evans and Reeves teamup to try and uncover just what occured and what triggered the shooting. The two play nicely off-eachother and provide a believable partner situation. Hugh Laurie (HOUSE M.D.) plays Internal Affairs Captain James Biggs, who is very similar to Laurie's character on House, with his long-winded and insightful monologues. Laurie who I normal don't like, had a very layered character who seems to pop-up in the most inopportune times, and I really enjoyed his scenes with Reeves. Forset Whitaker also delivers a stunning performance as the Captain to the Vice squad Reeves belongs to. Whitaker is always good and never seems to disappoint.

The violence and script are very strong in this film and ultimately made me give it good marks. Cop dramas, can sometime feel like a dime a dozen, but Street Kings stands out. It doesn't go too far out on a ledge with the story and remains fairly grounded in reality. Set in the Los Angeles backdrop everything felt very real and done with a dark edge that made the film gritty and memorable. This is Ayer's second attempt at a cop drama and he does a far better job with Street Kings. Street Kings has an intense feel to it that keeps the veiwer enthralled throughout, where Harsh Times lost the viewer fairly quickly. Finally, Street Kings is a strong and twist filled drama, which doesn't shy away from violence, and keeps you tied in until the explanation filled finale.