It's quite refreshing to see the normally "clean-cut" Keanu Reeves play a morally-flawed character, this time portraying a police detective in Los Angeles. But his character is one who blurs the line between good cop and bad. For instance, one of the decisions he makes early on will definitely have you sympathising. Because when a gang of drug-fuelled criminals have been torturing 2 kidnapped teens, would you agree with his actions to shoot them in cold blood? The movie raises other ethical questions as well, because when the crux of the matter comes to a head, you have to ask yourself how far you're willing to go punish the bad guys.
Of course, this behaviour is not condoned by the "higher-ups" and when Internal Affairs gets involved, our "anti-hero" cop soon discovers he has no-one whom he can trust, especially once he becomes involved in the death of another police officer. From here on out, the movie becomes a slam-bang thrill ride through the mean streets of L.A. While the dialogue feels sometimes forced, the performances from this cast seem so grounded in reality that it's hard not to be as affected and disillusioned by the corruption as our protagonist-cop.
The gun-play is gritty and the action scenes are tough and brutal, with the director not sugar-coating anything, and instead asking us to make our own choices as to whether redemption is possible when we've crossed the line. Kudos to Keanu Reeves for playing a role that allows him to stretch his acting ability more than usual and also sees him as a tough but human cop (as opposed to his Matrix roles of invicibility). Good support comes from Hugh Laurie and Chris Evans, although Whitaker's character sometimes descends into overboard theatrics. Action-packed and thought-provoking. (4 out of 5, by Carlisle Johnson)
Keanu Reeves stars as Tom Ludlow, a hard-nosed detective with a talent for delivering brutal street justice. When evidence implicates him in the murder of a fellow officer, the violence around Ludlow explodes as he realizes his own life is in danger and he can trust no one.
An all-star cast propel this action-packed crime thriller, in which a veteran cop finds himself trapped in a deadly web of conspiracy and betrayal, with no-one to trust.
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Review This Product
Thu, 11 Sep 2008 | Review by: Micky B
Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker head up the cast in this exciting (and very violent) police action crime drama. It's original working title was The Night Watchman.
From the opening scene, we learn that Detective Tom Ludlow is a drinker. After he's shot up a violent gang of Koreans, following a "set-up" in which he pretended to be a black-market gun dealer, we get the message that he doen't exactly play things to the police department's rules either. Tom then falls foul of a former partner whom suspects him of corruption. This, however, opens up a can of worms...and it soon becomes a case of who can be trusted by whom.
The story is both clever and satisfying...and keeps us guessing right to the end. The heavy suspense is maintained right the way through...and Mr Reeves is even called upon to "act" in this one! Forest Whitaker plays the part of Captain Jack Wander as...Forest Whitaker!
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