This film isn't much more than a cinematic version of FX's "The Shield." Okay, a little different, sure, but it's basically the story of a corrupt LAPD unit and one would think audiences are sick of that sort of thing by now. This subject is so old that it's just no longer possible to care -- it's just dull, and that's the absolute worst thing that can happen to a film.
The story takes place in the days leading up to the police acquittal in the Rodney King case. Sgt. Eldon Perry (Kurt Russell) is the so-called "cop-on-the-edge" who has a new partner, Bobby Keough (Scott Speedman). Together, they do the bidding of their boss, Jack Van Meter (Brendan Gleeson), which includes committing crimes themselves. Pursuing them is Deputy Chief Arthur Holland (Ving Rhames), who knows the whole crew is corrupt.
Soon, Bobby begins to question what they're doing and that starts the inevitable unraveling. If Bobby had been on "The Shield," he would have been shot in the face. Unfortunately for us, he suffers no such fate. Though Perry doesn't cross the major line that Vic Mackey does on "The Shield," he's much less interesting because his sense of right and wrong isn't explored. This is now par for the course from director Ron Shelton, who directed "Bull Durham" but should have been put out to pasture after the torturous "Play it to the Bone." Perry is just a caricature of every bad cop we've ever seen on screen and nothing more.
Maybe the setting is supposed to add tension to this film, but it doesn't. Everyone knows what happened when the Rodney King verdict came in. Usually, people like surprises at the end of a movie. Guess what happens at the end of this one? Los Angeles burns. Once L.A. audiences spill into the streets after seeing this travesty of filmmaking, it may well burn once again.
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