Deep Cover (1992)
Laurence Fishburne plays no-nonsense LAPD narc Russell Stevens, Jr., who has worked all his life to expunge the memory of his dope-addict father, whom he saw die in a liquor-store robbery. DEA agent Jerry Carver (Charles Martin Smith) orders Stevens to work as an undercover operative on a major case. The cop is to pose as a dealer in order to get the goods on South American drug lord. Stevens is so convincing as a dealer, that he fast works his way up through the ranks and gains the trust of lawyer and narcotics dealer David Jason (Jeff Goldblum) and his sinister associates, all lackeys to the kingpin who is the target of Stevens' assignment. Through a series of fantastic but credible circumstances, Stevens eliminates the lower echelon, getting closer to his quarry, but in the process he finds himself so deep into the sinister and seductive world of the drug trade that he may never get out. In a surprise move, and just when he is about to bring the ringleader down, the DEA pulls the plug on his assignment, because the top dealer, an influential Latin American politician, may someday be useful to the State Department. … More
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Critic Reviews for Deep Cover
Convoluted and mostly unconvincing as a portrait of the drug underworld, Deep Cover [based on a story by Michael Tolkin] still carries some resonance due to its vivid portrait of societal decay and a heavyweight performance by Larry Fishburne.
What emerges is a powerhouse thriller full of surprises, original touches, and rare political lucidity, including an impressive performance by Jeff Goldblum.
In addition to Fishburne, it gives us a first-rate soundtrack, a clutch of splendid cameos, fine, grainy direction from Duke, and much pointed stuff about the hypocrisy behind the USA's so-called war against drugs.
Deep Cover eventually degenerates into so much gratuitous violence that 'kill' sounds like the most-used verb in the screenplay's last stages.
Rather than ride the easy cynicism of the script, by Michael Tolkin and Henry Bean, Fishburne illuminates his character's moral struggle.
What sets Deep Cover apart is its sense of good and evil, the way it has the Fishburne character agonize over the moral decisions he has to make.
Cynical police thriller that veers between a standard issue genre action pic and something more meaningful and original.
Smart and stylish, it also has scenes of crackling violence and dramaturgy that oftentimes strains to work but, on the whole, Deep Cover is engaging, thoughtful and inventive.
It's an unsettling yet compelling blend, and probably one you don't want to think about too much.
Laurence Fishburne haunts this movie with his deep set fiercely intense glaring eyes.
Deep Cover was probably conceived as a quickie crime film, but thanks to Fishburne's and Goldblum's performances, it became much more.
Too much grit, not enough Plot.
A tough, violent crime drama that pulls no punches.
A truly entertaining little crime thriller. Fishburne and Goldblum are great together.
Audience Reviews for Deep Cover
Intelligent, intense and well-acted undercover cop drama, with Jeff Goldblum playing nicely against type as a psychotic yuppie and Laurence Fishburne suitably tortured as the cop seduced by his lavish life of crime.More
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