When my husband got free passes to see an advanced screening of this movie, I almost said no. First of all, I generally don’t go for movies with rap songs in the soundtrack. But more than this (or probably directly related to it), I resent movies that are purposely marketed at black people, because they’re almost all the same.
That’s another post, huh?
Needless to say, I went along to see it, if only because Keanu Reeves was in it. I don’t love him, but for the sake of The Matrix and Something’s Gotta Give … why not? And for my trouble, I rather liked the movie. This surprised me.
Besides Reeves, the movie starred a plethora of big names, including Hugh Laurie, Cedric the Entertainer and Forrest Whitaker. In fact, it was like a Fox Network reunion now that I think about it. The story was about a cop named Ludlow (Reeves) who’s only slightly dirty. He’s dirty for good reasons, if that’s possible. He’s a drunk and he’s got issues, but for some reason I cared about him. Maybe it’s because he was kinda stupid. After all, it became pretty clear, fairly early in the movie, that Ludlow was being screwed over–but he didn’t seem to realize it. My husband thought this was a flaw in the movie–that we weren’t supposed to know everyone was out to get him. But I disagree; I really do think we (the audience) were meant to be one step ahead of poor clueless Ludlow. Sure, we needed him to fill in the details for us, but by the time he’d figured everything out, we were glad he’d finally caught up.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
After Ludlow rescues some kidnapped teens (in a rather shady way, but as I said, we don’t mind because the girls are saved and the bad guys die), Captain Biggs of internal affairs (Laurie) starts watching for him to screw up. Apparently Ludlow’s done lots of shady things, and internal affairs is asking some hard questions. Then Ludlow’s estranged former police partner is brutally murdered. This is where the story really begins. Things get a little muddy at times, but don’t worry about getting lost. If you have to go to the bathroom at some point during the movie, go ahead. You’ll catch up fast.
When Reeves first appeared on screen, I thought, “Man … the youthful days of The Matrix are over!” He was slightly overweight, and he looked tired and old. This was fully in line with his character though. (And he had nice arms, so all else is forgiven.) Also, at first I was a little put off by all the recognizable faces that kept popping up in every scene, but after a while I just got used to it.
The movie was extremely violent/bloody, and they cussed like sailors. However, there was no nudity and no sex scenes, so that was a nice surprise. There were some holes in the story, but as I said, I liked it overall.
I give it 3 out of 5 stars.