Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Street Kings - A Movie Review

Casino Royale revealed James Bond to be a blunt instrument, and a rather effective one at that. This year, Keanu Reeves takes on a similar role, as Tom Ludlow, a gun-fighting police detective in the David Ayer directed Street Kings.

Detective Tom Ludlow is one cop you wouldn't want to cross (if you are a felon). The type to deadpan a little before shooting you dead, he is essentially a one man judge, jury and executioner for the vice squad that he works in.

Such is the nature of his work that his superior, Forest Whitaker's Captain Jack Wander, would be left to clean up the mess, often by making evidence go missing, twisting headlines and turning a blind eye to Ludlow's penchant for gunfights. More often than not, the rest of the vice squad would be press-ganged to do clean-up detail and this causes some tension between Ludlow and the rest of the squad.

Not helping matters is a Dr. House like IA captain, James Biggs, played by non other than Hugh Laurie himself, investigating Ludlow and the activities of the vice squad.

When Ludlow's former partner, Washington, gets killed before he gets the chance to bash his jaw in for ratting him out to Biggs, Ludlow uncovers a conspiracy involving Wander, the vice squad and the rest of the police squad.

As a gun-fighting policeman, Keanu Reeves' character is surprisingly "blur". Deployed as a blunt instrument and seemingly prized by his Captain, he doesn't realise that he is just a tool and really is expendable.

Reeves' wooden acting style, as seen in the Matrix movies doesn't really suit a pained detective with baggage (his wife died when she was with another man), but the dead-panned scenes are pretty funny.

I wouldn't recommend watching this ensemble cast in a local cinema even though it's a good one, as true to form, the censors practically butchered the movie, cutting up even lines of dialogue. My suggestion? Wait for the DVD. It should be out anytime soon. Hugh Laurie, not Keanu Reeves, is worth the price of the disc.