Gang Related

Bomb Rating: 

If his main characters are any indication, director Jim ("Disorganized Crime") Kouf thinks brutality is a funny thing. This story revolves around Detective Da Vinci (Jim Belushi), who organizes drug deals on the side to make a little extra cash ("bad cop"), then murders the drug dealers as a sort of public service ("good cop"). His partner, Rodriguez (Tupac Shakur), is pretty much along for the ride.

The last time I looked, Tupac Shakur did not resemble anybody of Mexican descent -- who the hell decided to name him "Rodriguez"? Christ, why not go with "Chang" or "Dances with Bears"? Or, if you're a stickler for accuracy (as I am), how about "Wormy"? Actually, this discrepancy is typical of the film as a whole. Kouf has no idea whether he's making a comedy or a drama, and he doesn't do a thing to convince us that these two random losers could actually be cops.

The portrayal of "reality" is certainly among the worst of the film's offenses. There's a courtroom scene in which Da Vinci has switched the murder weapon. When the defendant -- an obviously brutal killer -- spots the weapon, he jumps up in court, starts yelling at the top of his lungs, then punches a bailiff -- all because the gun doesn't belong to him. Naturally, he's acquitted. In the real world, he's fried.

Given the high quality of this film, Kouf and his associates should have considered taking a shovel, digging up Tupac Shakur's grave, and taking his corpse out on the press tour. It would have been a promotion befitting such an appalling movie.

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  • The most significant thing I learned from this film is that TupacShakur had a lumpy head.

  • I knew this whole movie was in big trouble from the opening scene where Det. Sgt. Nick Tellis (Jason Patric) of the Detroit police is chasing some drug addict through a neighborhood.

  • Filmmakers get into trouble when they start mistaking profundity for drama because it almost always comes around and bites them in the can.

Forget Hollywood homes of the stars, take the gangland bus!

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

January 16, 2010 Los Angeles Journal A Gangland Bus Tour, With Lunch and a Waiver By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD

LOS ANGELES — The tour organizer received assurances, he says, from four gangs that they would not harass the bus when it passed through their turf. Paying customers must sign releases warning of potential danger. And after careful consideration, it was decided not to have residents shoot water guns at the bus and sell “I Got Shot in South Central” T-shirts.

Borrowing a bit from the Hollywood star tours, the grit of the streets and a dash of hype, LA Gang Tours is making its debut on Saturday, a 12-stop, two-hour journey through what its organizer calls “the history and origin of high-profile gang areas and the top crime-scene locations” of South Los Angeles. By Friday afternoon, the 56-seat coach was nearly sold out.

{;-) Dan in Miami

PS:  Actually they have something similar in Chicago.  I went to a little museum/theater dedicated to Al Capone and other gangsters of the Prohibition era there.  It's kind of fun.



RidingFool's picture

I've been through Compton. (No, I wasn't lost.) It's not as tough as it's made out to be, and the dangers are highly overrated.

I got cheers, thumbs up, high fives, offers to come over to people's homes, and a ton of accolades. People would pull up beside me at lights and ask if I needed any help getting to where I was going. In all, I found the denizens to be extremely friendly to white folks such as myself. I had no problem with doors unlocked and the driver side window down to proudly display the heritage of my white left arm hanging off the side.

At the time, I was driving a truck towing a trailer with two Harleys.

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