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Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure
Release Date: 23-DEC-2003
Media Type: DVD
- "Internal Affairs" featurette
- Photo gallery and more
Top Customer Reviews
For those who actually took the time to go see "Dark Blue" (I was one of those few), they were rewarded with a satisfying, compelling crime drama. Kurt Russell, one of the most outrageously underrated actors in film, gives one of his all-time great performances as a semi-corrupt cop prowling the streets in Los Angeles, circa the Rodney King trial. His balancing act between the cynicism and corruption of his daily life, and the dormant idealism of his youth, is extraordinary to watch. "Dark Blue" is also a return to form for "Bull Durham" director Ron Shelton, who delivers his best movie since "White Men Can't Jump". And there's also some guy called Ving Rhames....
I highly recommend "Dark Blue." - ****1/2, rounded up to 5 stars.
Dark Blue opens with what looks like it is an episode of COPS but turns out to be a police chase that ends up as the Rodney King beating by L.A. cops. The movie then turns to show that the cops involved in the incident are now on trial and there are whispers that if the cops get off (as most expect that the will), the city will erupt. It is with this tension that we are introduced to Eldon Perry (Kurt Russell). Perry is an L.A. detective (plainclothes) and is somewhat of a controversial figure. He does his job, gets the criminals, but his methods are suspect. He follows orders, but uses somewhat excessive force in getting the bad guy. Perry views his job as the good guys (cops) versus the bad guys and that he is justified in using any means necessary in getting the bad guys.
Perry has a new partner, a young cop named Bobby Keough (Scott Speedman). Near the beginning of the movie we see Bobby in an internal review on his use of force in a case. Bobby shot a perp and with Perry's testimony he is cleared of all internal charges. The movie is less a pure story driven film than it is a revealing of who Perry is and the situation of the L.A.P.D. during the Rodney King era. There is corruption starting at the top and there are idealistic cops (usually young) and there are some cops like Arthur Holland (Ving Rhames) who are still upstanding men and trying to do the right thing even when the other captains are not.
This is a harsh look at the L.A.P.D. at a very heated time with the riots just around the corner (indeed, the Rodney King riots begin during the movie). It is a whole lot better than I could have expected and this has to be one of Kurt Russell's best roles. This is one of the better police movies that you will see and is an under-looked gem of 2002.
Set during the days before the Rodney King verdict, Dark Blue looks at the loss of innocence of one police officer and the potential redemption of another. The cast is outstanding with Kurt Russell deserving of an Acadmey Award nomination (not likely to happen given how early in the year the film was released and the way MGM promoted it)as L.A.P.D. veteran Eldon Perry. Perry has descended into hell and can't seem to escape its torments. He's become a corrupt individual (somewhat like Denzel Washington in Training Day although, arguably, this is a much better film)who has decided to fight criminals by ignoring the rules.
His new, fresh faced partner Bobby Keough (played by Scott Speedman)is Perry's naive, honest and younger doppleganger. Keough is sucked into Perry's world when he must lie during a hearing about a bust where the criminal was killed. The marvelous Brendan Gleeson gives a oily performance as their boss Jack Van Meter . He's playing both sides of the fence and smothered by corruption; he's sold his soul for money using the job to advance his own agenda.
Ving Rhames turns in a nicely nuanced performance as Assistant Chief of Police Arthur Holland. Holland knows about the darkness at the heart of the department and Van Meter's role in destroying the integrity of those in blue. He's convinced he can turn around the situation but he has his own skeleton in his closet waiting to undermine his authority.
I don't want to go into the nicely detailed plot. It would spoil the film.Read more ›
Here he is undermined by the direction of the film. Although he's had a few decent outings, Ron Shelton has not turned in a film worthy to keep him employed since "Bull Durham". Given decent material (story by James Ellroy, screenplay adapted by David Ayer, who did "Training Day") a terrific premise that tied the film into the Rodney King riots, and some decent supporting actors (none of whom was coached into a palatable performance), Ron Shelton made a mediocre movie. His newest, "Hollywood Homicide", is horrible. It's time for producers and film companies to wake up and let Shelton retire from the trade....
Only Russell rises above the direction, and even fine character actor Ving Rhames overacts in his role. Russell has an incredible scene where he's upbraided by his boss and mentor, in front of a rookie cop (Scott Speedman, miscast as a cop)who is his new partner. Just the facial expressions alone give you his seething anger in the face of his hero-worship for the commander.
Story lines about Russell's marriage and Speedman's love affair are wasted, but strangely, the movie IS compelling through the final scenes. Russell's cop is probably a caricature of the real "cowboy cops" in LA in those days, but you find yourself believing in him, despite his flaws.
Decent DVD production and camera work, but overall, rent the DVD instead of purchasing. If you are a Russell maven, you must have this one for your collection, though!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I choose this rating because the movie is good. What I like about the movie is that “Powerful. Hypnotic. Gripping. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Nathan Shepherd
I have no clue how this movie slipped under the radar. Its a top notch cop thriller with excellent performances all around. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Films4Life
DVD was sold as new but had several skips and sudden stops on the middle of the movie. It was returned and I was issued a full credit to payment.Published 4 months ago by Lloyd S. Hansen Jr.
While watching Dark Blue in 2016, one might think it fairly campy. However, putting it into context of the time - think: Rodney King Trial, Dark Blue is a satisfying movie. Read morePublished 5 months ago by By CJs Pirate
Kurt is at his best as a rogue policeman ! The supporting cast has an excellent job as well !Published 6 months ago by Julie Shearer
Great movie if you want to see corruption at its best!Published 6 months ago by Michelle D. Sullivan
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