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"Dark Blue"

Russell shines, but "Dark Blue" stinks

September 01, 2003  |  by George Eliseo

"Dark Blue" is yet another mindless entry into the "Cops Are The Real Criminals" genre of what passes for Hollywood filmmaking these days. But wait, this time it takes place during the LAPD/Rodney King trial and subsequent riots. That definitely means it must have some truth to it, right? The oft-copied Quentin Tarantino start-at-the-almost-end beginning means you can expect lots of violence and corrupt cops fighting it out with the lone honest cop.

Take my advice, this movie is definitely not worth seeing unless you really dig having your blood pressure raised or enjoy liberal conspiracy theories. Of course, that's an opinion that you won't hear from the mainstream media. Some of their critics loved it. My favorite review was by Stephen Farber of Movieline who wrote; "Several earlier movies have pulled the lid off police corruption, but few have been as scathing and uncompromising as 'Dark Blue.'"

Say what?!

I wish to remind this rocket scientist that this is fictional movie, not a documentary. He might as well have written, "Several earlier movies have pulled the lid off Jedi corruption, but few have been as scathing and uncompromising as 'Attack Of The Clones.'"

OK. Enough whining about how Hollywood portrays cops. Let's talk about the flick.

Kurt Russell plays Det. Eldon Perry and his rookie partner, work on the Special Investigations Squad (SIS) a unit within the LAPD that targets violent felons. Except instead of doing an actual investigation and arresting the real violent felons and putting them in jail, they look up some parolees at random, fabricate the evidence, find 'em and kill 'em. Case closed. Forget about that sworn to uphold the law thingy.

Look, it's not just that this movie makes the men and women in blue into psychopaths. It's also just a bad movie. There are holes in the plot big enough to drive Reginald Denny's truck through.

Unfortunately, other than a great performance by Kurt Russell, there's nothing to recommend. Looking for realism and originality? Keep it moving, buddy.

With all the cops killed in the line of duty, and all the real murders/kidnappings etc. that scroll along the bottom edge of the TV screen everyday, you can't tell me that there aren't great story ideas of really good cops catching really bad guys out there. Why Kurt Russell couldn't turn in a great performance playing one of these cops is beyond me. But what I do I know? I'm just an ex-cop.

"Dark Blue" is based on a story by James Ellroy who also wrote the novel "L.A. Confidential." And his themes can be summed up as: Corrupt, alcoholic LAPD officer gets involved in: (choose one or more) murder, sex scandal/political corruption, satanic ritual/animal abuse and must make one desperate last stand. Some people really like Ellroy's work. But here's the definitive comment about this literary Angeleno as far as I'm concerned: He lives in Kansas. Which might explain his lack of knowledge about police procedures and investigations.

Tags: Cops In Movies

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