With a script by James Ellroy, Kurt Wimmer and Jamie Moss, the action stays at a feverish pitch.
L.A.'s mean streets get meaner than ever in "Street Kings," and little wonder considering its pedigree. The film is directed by David Ayer, who penned the dirty-cop movie "Training Day," and based on a script largely written by L.A.'s mad-dog crime novelist/moralist James Ellroy.
We are all bad people, says LAPD vice Capt. Jack Wander (Forest Whitaker). Indeed, "Kings" is filled with bad people, bad cops and one almost absurdly idealistic cop, Keanu Reeves' Detective Tom Ludlow, who nevertheless breaks rule and heads without a moment's hesitation. "Kings" covers familiar territory but does so with ruthless efficiency, intense performances and a densely packed plot designed to highlight the moral issues that most concern Ayer and Ellroy.
"Kings" has solid boxoffice potential, especially for males of all ages. Plus, the film has one of Reeves' best performances: concentrated, grave, a little sad and more than a little demented.
Since his wife's sudden death in sordid circumstances, Tom is a vice cop living on the edge. He vomits to begin his day, then tools around the city with airline vodka bottles in his car to keep him stoked and fearless. In the film's opening sequence, he takes down four vicious kidnappers to rescue two girls, thus announcing a guy who knows how to bend rules to get scum off the streets.
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