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Tom Ludlow is a veteran LAPD cop who finds life difficult to navigate after the death of his wife. When evidence implicates him in the execution of a fellow officer, he is forced to go up against the cop culture he's been a part of his entire career, ultimately leading him to question the loyalties of everyone around him.
There was a film in the mid-1990's called L.A. Confidential, that marked the standard for cop films of today. It's style brought us into the dark underworld of being a police officer. And since then most cop films are really anti-cop films (ala most War films are anti-War films).
Director David Ayer, the man who wrote Training Day and The Fast and the Furious, brings us Street Kings. Another seemingly anti-Police Office film about cops obsession with winning and doing the right thing -- well the right thing in their subjective opinion.
This is a really nicely told story that starts in overdrive and never really stops until the ending credits. Everyone in this movie is working within a system that basically controls them, and where they all think they are controlling it! From the lead, Detective Ludlow (Keanu Reeves) to Captain Wander (Forest Whitaker), they all seem beat up, like they are boxers who took one punch too many but still want to get back into the ring for the action. They seemed to have lost track on why they idealistically became a cop in the first place.There is something really addicting about this movie. It's a guys, guy film about guys who are really off the rails but of course don't realize it. Power is everyone's addiction and it's an addiction that will be their demon forever.
Of course they mistake it for control.
Sometimes you'll laugh for the wrong reasons because things go so overboard, it's funny, but not in a way the filmmakers intended it to be. But with all the overhyped emotions and thematics going on, this film still has something. The performances are solid and so is the filmmaking. It's no L.A. Confidential, but it's still a film I can recommend.
3 stars out of 4