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2000s, Drama - Gangland

Street Kings (2008)

StreetKings

Duration 1h 49m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story A story by James Elroy
Director David Ayer
Writers/Script James Elroy, Kurt Wimmer, Jamie Moss
Starring Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans, Cedric the Entertainer, Terry Crews, Naomi Harris, Common, Game,

Elevator Pitch: Tom Ludlow is a Vice Squad detective who is prepared to take the law into his own hands. His approach allows him to rescue two kidnapped girls, but since he chose to kill the gangsters involved and then to cover his tracks he is investigated by Internal Affairs. When a former colleague is murdered in his presence he is forced to cover his tracks again, and with a rookie detective tracks down the murderers putting his life in danger and revealing the extent of the corruption in the squad.

Content: The detective almost coninuously drinks vodka miniatures. There are sexual references but no actual sex or nudity. The first shoot out is graphic and sets the tone for the rest of the movie. The detective and his rookie assistant roam about in the dark streets of LA and there are occasional shootouts with the criminals using what seem to be primitive machine guns. In an atmosphere of impending doom the detectives interact with criminals, and with the members of their own department.

A View: This was a fairly typical James Elroy outing, complex layers of corruption being gradually exposed, but honestly, just a bit too complex for me. I always think that film makers are a bit lazy in their use of Los Angeles, particularly for detective films. Its as if they just went out into the street with their cameras. This film was panned by the critics but was better liked by the general public, and probably made a bit of money in the end. A watch for nothing if you like that sort of thing.

Additional Info: Hugh Laurie virtually reprises his role as House, in which he was engaged at the time of the movie.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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