Monday, April 14, 2008

Street Kings Review

Well this movie is sort of a mess but I still found it pretty amusing. While the story is both cliched and predictable, and the screenplay is horrific, some decent performances and some nice energy make this a dumb-fun way to spend two hours. To Street King's credit it casts its lead actor very much against type, Keanu Reeves as a hard-boiled loose cannon cop might seem difficult to imagine after most of his other cinematic work but I found him to be surprisingly effective here. The other actors, though they are composed by a pretty large collection of recognizeable faces, are generally terribly miscast or are playing the same sort of roles they always play. Hugh Laurie is playing House as a narc cop, Forest Whitaker is playing Idi Amin as a cop, etc. The one performance that really stood out to me, and furthers my belief that he is a surprisingly solid actor, is Chris Evans'. Evans, who gave a superb turn in last year's Sunshine and has given amusing, if uninspired, performances in the Fantastic Four movies and The Nanny Diaries, shines here. His clean cop looking to fit into a dark dirty world with Reeves is surprisingly believable and affecting, even if his role is far too small. I actually found Evans to be more effective here than Ethan Hawke was in the similar role in Training Day. As an aside the ending is preposterous and foolish. Anyone who wants to see this sort of dirty cop story done right should head back to season one of The Shield and start catching up (the last season airs in the fall). But for an amusing enough film experience that will do nothing for you intellectually Street Kings is fine.

Overall Score: 5/10

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