Street Kings (2008)
Street Kings feels like a stern and realistic crime series, wants to be a deep and nuanced portrait of crime, racism and greed in Los Angeles, but ultimately acts like a formulaic 1980s cop thriller. There are positives and negatives to be drawn from all these characteristics. The realism and dramatic potential is there for not unsubstantial portions of the running-time, and this is a testament to the writers' and the director's knowledge of the environments they portray. The genre conventions work both ways; they make Street Kings a tight and well-paced film, but they also result in uncritical, sometimes ridiculous narrative developments which ultimately deeply undermine this otherwise rather interesting story. Keanu Reeves will never be a great thespian, but these sorts of unassuming roles suits him well, and he still looks damn good.