I remember being disappointed in this film when it first came out, but rewatching now, this film really does offer a lot of pleasures for film buffs. I'll still stand by my initial impressions that this film should have been a whole lot better and was hoping for a better film, but despite a weak script by the usually reliable Pete Dexter, this film's style, look and cast are enough to carry the day. Taking a a bit of famous Los Angeles history, The LAPD's Hat Squad who were given carte blanche to keep the mob out of LA no matter what the means, as the jumping off point, the film starts with the murder of a call girl which then leads to government conspiracies and coverups. This film has all the film noir hallmarks that went into "Chinatown" but this film doesn't have that same level of gravitas when it came to balancing the character elements and the story's larger conspiracy. Despite the weak script, director Lee Tamahori brings a beautiful level of style and grace to the film, which is greatly aided by gorgeous photography by Haskell Wexler and production design by the great Richard Sylbert, who also did "Chinatown." There's also an unbelievably strong cast that includes Nick Nolte, Jennifer Connelly, Chazz Palminteri, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Melanie Griffith, Andrew McCarthy, Treat Williams, John Malkovich, Bruce Dern, Kyle Chandler, Ed Lauter, Louise Fletcher, Rob Lowe, William Petersen and Virginia Madsen. Nolte is commanding in the lead and this film served as a reminder to me of what a great actor his his. It also made me wish Nolte has let himself star in more tough guy parts, because he is a total badass in the film. He's so great at rage slowly building below the surface and then exploding. If nothing else, rewatching this film made me want to watch some more Nick Nolte films. Maybe I'll check out "Farewell to the King" again. Jennifer Connolly is also a standout as the murdered girl, who in just a few scenes manages to loom large over the entire film. And not to come down too hard on the script, it does have it's moments, like when William Peterson fears he's about to be thrown down a cliff (Mulholland Falls) and pleades, you can't do this. This is America. Nolte calmly replies, "This isn't America, Jack. This is L.A." So overall, despite an overreaching script, this film's style, cast and look manage to make it well worth watching for fans of the genre.