Colors - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Colors Reviews

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October 27, 2016
Brutal and raw. The plot needed work. It's a hard movie to watch that won't hold your attention. (First and only viewing - 10/19/2016)
½ September 7, 2016
Just not much that is great here. Nothing terrible though.
September 3, 2016
LA cops control the streets of the ghettos in this taunt urban drama directed by Dennis Hopper.
August 30, 2016
A surprisingly well directed film and manages to not seem formulaic unlike most of the other cop films out there however its a bit too familiar to be called a great movie alongside something like 'Serpico'. The combination of Robert Duvall and Sean Penn is fantastic and they help carry the film to success. The movie primarily talks about the increasing horror of the city taken over by gang members which as you could guess from the title is mostly race related. At the centre of it are the contradictory partners of the LAPD's gang crime division Bob Hodges and Danny McGavin and the story arc goes along the lines about how they approach the situation... with immediate force? or to play it smart and take your time? Eventually they both learn from each others characters, one more from the other as it becomes clear later. A bit too familiar but done well.
Probably the best part of the film was the 46th min. - 49th min. A really great piece of fimmaking that is.
½ February 19, 2016
Good old police procedural thriller.
January 31, 2016
You can't go wrong with a movie's music done by legendary Herbie Hancock.
December 6, 2015
I had seen this one several times when I was younger and really liked it. It's been ages since i last viewed so it was fun to see it again. Dennis Hopper directs, Robert Duvall and Sean Penn star, and Ice-T does the theme song. Worth checking out!
December 3, 2015
Two white cops, Bob "Uncle Bob" Hodges (Robert Duvall) a respected, 19-year LAPD veteran and rookie officer Danny McGavin (Sean Penn) have just been teamed together in the C.R.A.S.H. (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) unit that patrols East L.A. and South central. Bob is appreciated on the local streets. He is diplomatic on the surface, preaching "rapport" to gang members to encourage them to offer help when it is truly needed and recognizes that every action cops take is scrutinized by the very people they are trying to help. Hodges explains his view on policing to his young partner with a joke about bulls and cows. Although the pair bond quickly, life lessons are seemingly lost on the aggressive, cavalier McGavin, whose stunted actions soon bring him quick notoriety with the local gang members and the people themselves. When McGavin wrecks their first unmarked car during a pursuit, its replacement, painted a vivid yellow, results in McGavin being nicknamed "Pac-Man" by officers and gang members alike. McGavin also has a short lived romance with a waitress named Louisa (María Conchita Alonso) who, like the offended Hodges, feels the weight of the Pac-Man persona. Amidst the strains of these relationships, the murder of a Bloods gang member leads to a series of escalations between two other street gangs. A series of seemingly random incidents culminates in a plot that finds the two partners in the middle of the Crips, Bloods and Hispanic Barrio war...

"Colors" is an intense, violent and powerful movie putting the finger on the gangland in Los Angeles during the 80s, I doubt however that much has changed since then. Dennis Hopper´s direction is dynamic, handheld and very much in your face which fits with the film and the genre itself. The plot is a bit floaty and the movie is more or less a case study of two cops and their normal days on the beat in the rough parts of L.A. It´s about values, class system, wanting to belong, poverty, violence, drugs, gangs and the everyday life in between. The balance between the cops and the gangs are straight forward and I reckon quite given, maybe even a bit cartoony. I personally think that Penn and Duvall are really they only ones putting on a solid performance, while most gang members (known actors and others) leaves you with a bit more to wish for. I saw this at the movies in 1988 and when re-seeing it now I couldn´t help feeling that "Colors" is such a classic action drama of the 80s (which it is) in so many ways. But, now it´s so obvious. It´s an ok film, but not wow in my book.
½ September 17, 2015
Dennis Hopper directs Robert Duvall and Sean Penn in a gang land crime thriller which has plenty to say and is occasionally funny. The story whilst a little obvious and clichéd to today's audience in it's own time must been a different beast.
June 20, 2015
I love this app and this movie
May 21, 2015
Cops battle gang warfare in beautiful East LA. Duvall is excellent as always. I remember this being very controversial when it was released and video includes remark 'now watch in the safety of your own home'. Possibly in keeping with his character, Penn was arrested for punching an extra during filming.
April 15, 2015
a lot of great talent on camera but the overall outcome is acceptable but not substancial.
February 7, 2015
More of a story about the stressful relationship between 2 cops with gang life as a backdrop than an actual gangsploitation, but has good several plots all while the main story develops. Also a good period piece of 1980s street gangsterism.
½ February 5, 2015
Joke cartoon that takes itself too seriously. Wooden acting and directing by clueless honkies.
Super Reviewer
January 2, 2015
A superb cop movie with Sean Penn and Robert Duvall as 2 cops cleaning up the streets in LA. These kind of movies with gangs fights are always fun to watch especially when its a well made movie with great acting like this. Enjoy this 80's flick..
November 28, 2014
Still holds up as one of the great 80s cops n gang warfare movies.
October 14, 2014
Réalisé par Dennis Hopper, Color est un excellent film policier situé dans le bourbier de South Central pendant les années 80, dominé par un duo extrêmement complémentaire entre la force tranquille de Robert Duvall et l'explosivité de Sean Penn. Les seconds rôles sont excellents et la bande-son parfaite. On ne peut alors que regretter le fait que l'intrigue principale dans la deuxième heure soit beaucoup moins réussie que la chronique de la première et se perde un peu.
August 22, 2014
The first street hood reality movie. This is excellently told and made.
August 3, 2014
Great movie about gangs on the streets.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ July 21, 2014
"You can lose your sight of it all, and the darkness inside you can make you feel small, but I see your true colors shining through!" Man, forget Cyndi Lauper, especially here, because we're talking about a cop movie, and it's that good, old-fashioned, generic kind of man's man's cop movie, with Robert Duvall, and Sean Penn with aviator sunglasses. You've got to love that one, cheap-looking DVD cover for this film which features that, in front of hood rats and explosions, because it shows you just how desperate Dennis Hopper is to look cool as a filmmaker. Interesting how before he was the bad guy in "Speed", Hopper, as a director, was actually guiding the cops to save the day, yet apparently still cause a lot of explosions along the way. That DVD cover must have got most of this film's money towards explosives, because I don't know how much this film can spend on hardcore action, what with its being an independent film that was likely already out a good bit of money when it got Sean Penn and Robert Duvall on board. That investment must have paid off, because people put almost $50 million into the box office and over $20 million in rentals to see Duvall and Penn take on the Bloods, Crips and Mexican gangs. Man, this movie sounds cool, but no, it's not quite that exciting, even though it doesn't put a great deal of attention into certain depths.

The film opens up telling you not much of anything about the leads beyond their mission, then proceeds to meander along the goings-on of East L.A., as seen by both the cops and the gangs, and does so emptily, doing little to truly flesh out its characters, and not even having enough action to compensate for the lack of depth, like other police dramas of this type. Of course, outside of that, this is more of the same as a police drama, putting in just enough twists for you to better notice the tropes that ultimately make this a predictable, almost manufactured-feeling effort, despite an ambition which might not even be just. There is a fair deal of intrigue to this story on paper, and in execution, it is done plenty of justice, but at the end of the day, this isn't an especially meaty story concept, and it grows harder and harder to deny this the more the film drags along. Clocking in at two hours, this film outstays its welcome, and more so than you might guess, even with all of my complaints about this narrative's natural shortcomings, as it goes packed with so many layers and shifts in focus that storytelling gets to be seriously uneven, - if not episodic in feel - when it's not packed with so much do-little material that the storytelling gets to be borderline monotonous. Before too long, the film gets to be just plain aimless, meandering along with pacing and structuring so disjointed that it has to be seen in order to be believed as a blow to entertainment value and sense of momentum almost as serious as cold spells in direction which range from bland to dull. The final product left me a little cold, and although it is more inspired than I expected in a number of ways, it's also flimsier than I expected, ultimately falling flat as yet another somewhat forgettable police thriller. With that said, the final product entertains enough to get you by, or at least Dennis Hopper does.

There are plenty of areas in which Dennis Hopper, as director, doesn't seem to have much of an idea as to what he's doing, what with the meandering, unfocused storytelling, but that directorial thoughtfulness can be commended for its being somewhat unique in the context of a film of this type, and for hitting moments of effectiveness which provide glimpses into what could have been. If nothing else, the subtle engagement value holds you over until Hopper delivers on some surprisingly thrilling action sequences to offer heights in a liveliness which rarely falls so considerably that you can't get some sort of a grip of the value of this story concept. This may be somewhat thin subject matter which has been done time and again, but through all of the conventions and natural shortcomings, in addition to all of the convoluted bloatings, there stands a promising portrait on gang violence, and police actions against it. Michael Schiffer's writing more-or-less obscures the potential of this film, it gets to be so flimsy, with conventions and issues in focus and pacing, as well as other issues to meet some undeniable strengths, which range from occasions of memorable wit, to moments of convincing effectiveness in a gutsy portrayal of police procedural and gang affairs. There are some surprises of uniqueness and interesting thoroughness in this drama, yet outside of that, there's not much to compliment in this still-adequately engaging affair, carried about as much as anything by the performances. It is ultimately the underwritten performances which keep most consistent in this film, and even then, there are some weak supporting players, but only a few, who can be forgotten next to the charisma of and chemistry between Sean Penn and Robert Duvall which never fail to hold your attention. The engaging efforts of the leads may be challenged by the many shortcomings of the film, yet they most recurrently represent the inspiration that goes into making the film reasonably engaging, with some solid highlights to accompany more than a few lowlights.

Bottom line, little is said about the characters, and about a little uniqueness is placed into the aimlessly overdrawn, uneven and often blandly cold handling of a story of limited consequence, but not such little consequence that highlights in action, direction, writing and acting don't secure Dennis Hopper's "Colors" as a serviceable, if often limp study on the police's and L.A. gangs' brutal interactions amongst themselves and with each other.

2.5/5 - Fair
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