Director: David Ayer
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie,
Chris Evans, Naomie Harris, Jay Mohr, John Corbett, Cedric the
Entertainer, Amaury Nolasco, Terry Crews, Common, The Game
RunTime: 1 hr 49 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Rating: NC-16 (Violence and Coarse Language)
Official Website: http://foxsearchlight.com/streetkings/
Opening Day: 10 April 2008
Reeves plays Tom Ludlow, a veteran LAPD Vice Detective. Ludlow
sets out on a quest to discover the killers of his former
partner, Detective Terrance Washington (Crews). Whitaker plays
Captain Wander, Ludlo's supervisor, whose duties include keeping
him within the confines of the law and out of the clutches
of Internal Affairs Captain Biggs (Laurie). Ludlow teams up
with a young Robbery Homicide Detective (Evans) to track Washington's
killers through the diverse communities of Los Angeles. Their
determination pays off when the two Detectives track down
Washington's murderers and confront them in an attempt to
bring them to justice.
It’s a dark, dark world out there.
shady truths, cover-ups – if you haven’t experienced
them somehow or other at work; you’d have seen them
in some movie. The latest movie picture about crooked cops
to hit the screens is David Ayer’s (Harsh Times) work.
It comes as no surprise because the director also wrote the
screenplay for the critically acclaimed Training Day (2001),
another movie about crooked cops starring Denzel Washington
and Ethan Hawke.
Ludlow (Keanu Reeves) is an experienced cop who leads a difficult
life after his wife dies. When a fellow cop dies and all evidence
point towards him, he is forced to go against the righteousness
he believed in his whole life and begins to see the true picture
of things around him, ultimately leading him to see the true
dark, dark world that is out there.
you imagine Mr. Reeves (yes, we still think that The Matrix
trilogy’s Neo was his best-played character in his acting
career yet) plays such a demanding role? Surprisingly, it
does not turn out as bad as we expected, because Reeves’
awkwardness does translate into the role rather nicely, and
he manages to portray the tension and confusion faced by Ludlow
throughout the movie.
it is his co-stars who steal the show. Academy Award winner
Forest Whitaker plays Ludlow’s shady boss with the expected
but always enjoyable burst of energy. Watch out for his performance
in the movie’s finale – it will blow you away.
Hugh “Dr. Gregory House” Laurie’s scene
stealing turn as a police captain may be brief, but the Golden
Globe winner commands your attention every time he appears
in a sequence. Then there is Chris Evans’ Sunshine,
Fantastic Four) detective character which adds a fresh touch
to the veteran cast.
movie is not without its violence, coarse language and a generous
amount of blood, earning the picture its NC16 rating. Those
who enjoy action-packed sequences with dosages of the abovementioned
will get pleasure in the well paced shootout scenes which
follow one another nicely.
Ayer does not write his own script this time round, the story
by James Ellroy (The Black Dahlia, LA Confidential) and screenplay
by himself, Kurt Wimmer (Ultraviolet, The Recruit) and Jamie
Moss follows the gritty style of the chronicling the shady
lives of those living in the underbellies of the seemingly
honorable and upright world. You may not find the genre fresh
with your experience of watching similar movies (Asia’s
very own Infernal Affairs trilogy comes to mind immediately),
but you’d still be drawn in by the engaging plot that
makes you shake your head in disagreement whenever an immoral
character gets his way around things.
with a adrenaline filled music score by Graeme Revell (Aeon
Flux, Planet Terror), a gritty cinematography by Gabriel Baristain
(The Sentinel, S.W.A.T.) and tightly paced editing by Jeffrey
Ford (Breach, One Hour Photo), the 109-minute movie turns
out to be a predictably structured but entertaining ride.
And yes, if female viewers are not die-hard fans of Reeves
or Evans (we’d think they are the ones to qualify as
heartthrobs here), this picture is definitely more of a boy’s
the movie doesn’t offer anything fresh in terms of plot,
it still delivers its action-packed sequences competently)
Review by John Li