Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Street Kings

Rating : 5/10
Release Date : 3rd April ’08 (USA) / 13th March ’09 (India)
Time : 109 minutes
Director : David Ayer; Writer : James Ellroy, Kurt Wimmer
Starring : Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Cedric the Entertainer, Jay Mohr, Naomi Harris, Chris Evans

I didn’t know James Ellroy had written the story till the end-credits were rolling. Essentially this is a watered down version of LA Confidential (he’s the author of the novel and writer of the screenplay), a sort of imitation which uses all the success elements of the former. You have corrupt cops, a cop who is battling internal demons and is currently being used as a battering ram, you have a plot that keeps on thickening till its as solid as cement, the grittiness of the streets, some action and you have the denouement / the climax, where things kind of fall in place.

Yet, throughout the film, it fails to grip you or instill any sense of excitement. It basically lacks human characters whom we are able to identify with and then cheer or vilify. Keanu Reeves, while doing a decent job of the role he was given, is not built up or made appealing to the audience. And they keep referring to his past without clarifying it. The others are wall-paper. The bit about his partner’s wife was potentially interesting but not built up. And the action has a dated feel – there is nothing you’ve not seen before – and actually that’s true for the action and even the plot.

We’ll reserve this one for the boys with toys brigade, the guys who get off on car chases, guns and bullets. But even in that genre, this one is of a paler hue compared to what else is out there…

1 comment:

Rohit Deep said...

I would have rated this even lower. Lots of holes, not nicely acted.