Dark Blue Reviews

Page 1 of 17
Super Reviewer
February 3, 2011
Though the two of them are as different as chalk and cheese, this movie reminded of 'Training Day'. Kurt Russell excels in the role of a ruthless NYPD detective Eldon Perry. Scott Speedman is equally effective as his partner Bobby Keough, whose conscience doesn't agree with Eldon's methods of handling the criminals.

The movie is an average police drama with not much action. It tries to weave too much in less than 2 hours duration of the movie, which makes it a bit messy and can cause distraction. Also the last half hour was very dull. Not highly recommended.
Super Reviewer
November 17, 2009
Great neo-noir epic about crooked cops. Kurt Russell was great as always and really played with a different kind of role. The style of the film was truly unique. Who would've thought you could set such a story during the time of the Rodney King scandal, but it was done almost flawlessly. Even though Ellroy refuses to have his name on the project, you can definitely see his brand of storytelling throughout the film.
Super Reviewer
½ October 26, 2007
A gripping, riveting and electrifying police thriller. An endlessly compelling and dazzeling film. Kurt Russel gives the performance of his career. If the film dosent mean much to you his performance is worth watching.
Super Reviewer
June 17, 2007
Fine police drama of the case appears to be a typical shoot-and-lot until elite cop-unit detectives are assigned to investigate and their white boss and the city's black assistant police chief butt heads aimed a law-enforcement and judicial system teeming with corruption and bigotry.
Super Reviewer
March 16, 2007
Det. Sgt. Eldon Perry Jr.: [to Maniac] You really think this bullet gives a shit how tough you are, big guy?

This is a very decent cop movie made better by the fact that it stars Snake fucking Plisken and Marsellus Wallace.

Kurt Russell is very good as a cop who bends the rules all the time and knows it. He is a dirty cop, but does so to protect and serve and feel better about his job as well.

Ving Rhames steps in campaigning to fuck up everyone's plans and does so with authority.

There are enough good moments to make this movie work as well as some real life drama intertwined with this movie the help things play out.

The ending is also pretty neat.

Maniac: I mean he got game.
Det. Sgt. Eldon Perry Jr.: Game? Mr. Kim? What's he play, Golf? Speak fucking English!
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2012
Dealing with dark themes and controversial issues, Dark Blue is a dower and murky film that tries for too much. The story follows a corrupt unit of the LAPD that's working a high profile case in the mist of the 1991 Rodney King trial. Kurt Russell, Scott Speedman, Brendan Gleeson, and Ving Rhames form a solid cast, but their performances don't have much dimension. The characters just aren't developed enough to really get invested in. And unfortunately, rather than accentuating the themes of corruption and racial tension that the film is exploring, the placing of the Rodney King trial within the story feels awkwardly shoehorned in. Dark Blue attempts to tackle provocative issues, but winds up as a stereotypical and monotonous cop drama.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2013
Before watching Dark Blue I had my reservations that it was going to be quite generic, un-original and very run of the mill but I was very surprised when I was gripped, captivated and very entertained and satisfied with what I got.
Dark Blue follows various cops torn between right and wrong on a case of a quadruple murder. As simplistic as that sounds, there are various twists and turns along the way; some surprising and unexpected and others blandly predictable.
The casting for this movie was great. It was very good to see Kurt Russell in a film seen as his appearances run years between. Along with Kurt Russell is Ving Rhames, Scott Speedman & Brendan Gleeson. Kurt Russell is on GREAT form as the morally corrupted cop, Scott Speedman brought a good performance as the young cop unsure of his corrupt colleagues.
Along with the great cast, the story is great as previously mentioned and as plain, boring and un-original as it sounds it really is quite unpredictable and entertaining. Think Narc but less dark but more entertaining.
The film runs around the two hour mark which sounds like overkill for a cop film, but actually it fits quite well although some parts were in there for the sake of time filling and could have easily been left out and it wouldn't have taken away from the film's greatness. Although, the film wouldn't be nearly as good without Kurt Russell. He brings the charisma, the entertainment and the controversy. By controversy, I mean that his character is morally corrupt and often acts outside the law but paints a picture so it was self defence for example.
Overall, there isn't much more to say about Dark Blue that hasn't already been mentioned. There are great performances, a better than average story with a few good twists and a good running time. Dark Blue is well worth your time if you like these kinds of dark police drama films.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2011
Aside from a couple parts, "Dark Blue" manages to be an exceptional crime drama. I don't understand why it was so badly received.
Super Reviewer
½ April 4, 2012
"Dark Blue" is another violent and seedy look into the LAPD that showcases a number of questionable acts on the part of the police and while the story has been told before, Kurt Russell gives a strong performance giving it life. While the film flounders at times Russell doesn't and keeps the film moving along at a fast pace. The story deals with race and the Rodney King court case as the backdrop that heats everything up and finally reaches a boiling point when the jury gives a not guilty verdict. It deals with heavy subject matter and makes a pretty solid watch but there are better films of the same genre such as "L.A. Confidential" but if you're a fan of these types of films then this makes an entertaining watch.
Super Reviewer
½ December 9, 2009
Kurt Russell is undeniably great in this but for a film to be set against the backdrop of the 1992 L.A. riots without really exploring the causes, what occurred, and the aftermath seems like a cheat. Not that the film exploits them in any way but its common knowledge that the LAPD had and continues to have major corruption problems and in order for a film about that to be really compelling it has to dig deeper than just pointing out that corruption is a problem.
Super Reviewer
½ November 29, 2011
Aside from having a predictable storyline, "Dark Blue" manages to be an exceptional crime drama bolstered by a strong central performance from Kurt Russell. I don't understand why it was so badly received.
Super Reviewer
December 19, 2007
Very cool movie. Not alot of special effects, explosions, or amazing gun sequences...but it's all made up for in twists and character development. It does have some action, but then whole movie just has a very cool feel to it. It is based off a James Ellroy novel. Ellroy is one of my favorite authors, along with Elmore Leonard. The screenplay was written by David Ayer, one of my favorite writter/directors, yet the movie was directed by Ron Shelton. The film stars Kurt Russel and Scott Speedman as partners, working for the LAPD. Brendan Gleeson plays their corupt boss, and Ving Rhames plays the Assistant Chief trying to take them down. Michael Michelle is Speedman's love interest, and Rhames' assistant. Rapper Kurupt and Dash Mihok both play petty criminals, and junkies. Lolita Davidovich is Russel's wife, and Rhames' wife is played by Khandi Alexander. Jonathan Banks is a higher-up of even Gleeson, who helps them out with information from the top. Rapper Master P plays an informer to Russel and Speedman. The music is really good and constantly keeps you on edge. It is kind of symbolic, that both Kurt Russel and Ving Rhames, both trying to make things right end up losing their wives. At the end they share a moment looking out at the city on fire, talking, and reflecting on everything.
March 20, 2014
Surprisingly good. Interesting story set in a troubled time that most of America would like to quickly forget. Entertaining story, great cast, and very solid ending. Check this out if you're a fan of cop movies.
Super Reviewer
March 31, 2010
(2003 DIrector: Ron Shelton) I always seem to enjoy movies starring Kurt Russell like this one! As a riot hits in what must be Downtown L.A. (to be continued)
May 22, 2008
Really good crime movie. I can't believe those murderers killed people just like that. It looked so easy. Kurt Russell and Scott Speedman were awesome in this movie. I really wish that ------ didn't have to be shot. They shot him like a million times, god. Those Ghetto people are so racist. Seen it two times and I still think its really good.
October 28, 2007
I've got an awful lot of law enforcement related DVDs in my collection, and an awful lot of them deal with race or corruption. There are some exceptions (Bullitt, for instance) but I'd say that probably covers the majority that focus on cops in some way or other. I own chunks of some of the biggest and best law enforcement television shows (Homicide: Life on the Street, NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues) with a definite bias toward street cops and detectives over things like CSI groups. I'm not a fan of either approach to cops, the belief that they are infallible or the belief that they are inevitably fallible. I prefer films that suggest both elements are present, or don't get into it, but as I already said, most of the ones I own do address it.

I'd say it's no real secret that this film is about corrupt cops. Kurt Russell is Eldon Perry, a veteran cop training rookie Bobby Keough (Scott Speedman) in the ways he knows from his long-time police family, which are less than orthodox and also less than legal. He works primarily through Jack Van Meter (Brendan Gleeson), head of their Special Investigations Squad (SIS) and friend to Perry's father. We open the film to footage of the Rodney King beating, establishing the tone, location and time for the film as the early 90s, in a time of extreme tension in Los Angeles. We see Perry anxious and pacing in a hotel room as the verdicts are about to come in. We then begin trading back and forth between scenes of Keough being interviewed by a shooting board to determine the legality of a shooting he participated in and the violent robbery of a Korean man's convenience store by Darryl Orchard (Kurupt) and Gary Sidwell (Dash Mihok), involving the theft of a wall safe and the cold-blooded murder of multiple bystanders.

Keough is naturally found to be within policy for the shooting (otherwise, what would he be doing through the rest of the movie?) and Perry congratulates him in a back office with the company of Van Meter and James Barcomb (Jonathan Banks, who you've probably seen before in any number of bit parts from Airplane! to Gremlins to Beverly Hills Cop, as well as plenty of television guest spots) who clearly feel the shooting--no matter what the circumstances--was the right thing to be done. Before too long, we see Van Meter visit Orchard and Sidwell (!) and demand the money they stole. Now, of course, we know that Van Meter is not acting in any interest but his own (Gleeson is altogether too good at roles like this, though he at least also has roles like Frank in 28 Days Later, though here he has restrained his natural Irish accent until he's left with just strong sibilants and pronounced d's and t's), and see a slightly different slant on things.

SIS, specifically Perry and Keough, are assigned the convenience store robbery--dubbed the "Jack of Hearts" killings--and Van Meter works to steer them away from his henchmen, but Perry is convinced he knows who the culprits are, especially after discovering through a guy on the street ("Maniac" played by the great Master P) that Henry Kim, owner of the store, has a less simple and clean background than he thought, and that the only surviving witness has identified the perpetrators as one white man and one black man.

From here we start to spiral into three intersecting stories--that of Perry and Keough's investigation, Van Meter's attempts to direct them, and the final one, as yet unmentioned: Ving Rhames is an up-and-coming assistant Chief of Police and he smells corruption in the department. As yet he has been able to do little to stop it and is disheartened but persistent. Working for him is Michael Michele (who Homicide fans may remember as Detective Sheppard--funny, because I thought "Who is that? I remember her as a cop or something before, and she is good at the part...") who is currently involved with Keough.

It felt, to me, like an amalgamation of Colors and Narc, though the team of Speedman and Russell is not near so strong as Duvall and Penn or Liotta and Patric. I wasn't disappointed with either (disappointed with Russell?! How could that happen?! Well, ok, Big Trouble in Little China disappointed me, but oh well) but it was still not up to that level. But it was a good story, with an EXTREMELY tense final half hour (and a very impressive shootout that had me thoroughly tense, a rarity these days, and an outcome that I actually was surprised at the quality of performance in) and an interesting mix of the real events surrounding the King trial and riots. The riots do look and feel pretty real and intense, which was good to see, as that is something that can easily fall apart.

Lastly, the score: it's similar, in some ways, to the very cold, bleak electronic score of Narc, though not quite as forlornly, depressingly beautiful (and the songs are the likes of NWA and Eazy-E, rather than Tricky and the Baby Namboos doing the heartbreakingly beautiful "Provoked"). It's very fitting and a good thing to have, and the gangsta rap chosen is well-chosen and well-placed. Not a disappointment at all, in my opinion, and not overly biased for or against cops as anything but humans like the rest of us. Even Perry ends up described by events as more misguided than evil, though he does show racist tendencies.
June 4, 2007
I was sort of disappointed with this one. It was OKAY, but not nearly as good as I expected from a Kurt Russel movie...
June 16, 2007
liked this movie b/c it set in today society and the problem facing with law in forcment and the inner city
½ July 20, 2007
Similar to "Training Day," this movie is also about corrupt cops and takes place around the time of the Rodney King riots. lt's hardcore and gritty, and that's what l like.
Page 1 of 17