Jim Kouf's cynical LA crime-drama Gang Related does a lot of things technically wrong, particularly when it makes itself about its leading men, Jim Belushi (Detective Divinci) and the late Tupac Shakur (Detective Rodriguez). The film doesn't ask the audience to care about them and routinely steers our attention away from either or both of them and throughout the movie neither character seems to have progressed at all. But the movie does many things right, and I suppose one of these things was to alienate these characters from the audience. In Gang Related, Belushi and Shakur play a couple of dirty cops who have been running a scam where they deal cocaine and then kill their buyer, pinning the killings on gang related activity, but on their tenth try they end up killing an undercover DEA agent, which sparks an investigation, in which Belushi and Shakur are the lead detectives, that they try to pin on any poor soul -- and which settles on a helpless and homeless Dennis Quaid. Detectives Divinci and Rodriguez are by no means unrealistic. Shakur's Rodriguez (who is basically the same guy as Tupac the rapper except now he's a cop) needs the money because he is depressed, alcoholic, addicted to gambling, and in the hole by more than $27,000. Any other movie would be (sympathetically) about Rodriguez, but instead most of the movie revolves around Divinci, who is absolute scum and only ever explains the way he is by saying it's in his DNA. Apparently we aren't supposed to care about the protagonists. But that is what is curious about this movie. Every other character -- from the overworked ADA, to the hobo with the mysterious past, to the Defense Attorney played by James Earl Jones (nuff said) -- could star in their own movie, instead we are left to watch the comedic misfortune of Belushi and Shakur's heroes destroy them, which doesn't let us off the hook until the last scene. But then again, films and literature have experimented with narrative for hundreds of years -- Edgar Allen Poe made a career out of basing his stories on the perspectives of murderers. In the end, there is no point splitting hairs over what gang related could have been because what is unique about the film is what it is, and basing the movie from the perspective of any other of the characters would have been too small of a window into this tragic buddy cop film. In the end, it is its self awareness and its disregard for the audience that gives Gang Related a life of its own.