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.