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Dark Blue (Special Edition)

Kurt Russell , Ving Rhames , Ron Shelton    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
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Dark Blue

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BLUER THAN BLUE June 16 2004
DARK BLUE is a powerfully understated movie, even though it wastes no agony in its portrayal of what happened after the Rodney King verdict---why do people of any color think that they have the right to protest an injustice by taking it out on people who had nothing to do with it in the first place. Scenes of looting, stealing, angry people jumping on other people's cars, breaking windows---this is the real horror of our so called justice system. Of course, this is the climax of a movie that exposes those "bad cops" for what they are. Powerful performances from Kurt Russell and Brendan Gleeson in particular drive the tale of a cop who finally wakes up and realizes just what a cowboy he has been. There are no easy answers in this one, but even though it's a bad guy vs. good guy world, there is no excuse for the behavior of those who use their legal offices as an excuse to kill anyone they want.
Powerfully done.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a powerful performance by Kurt Russell June 4 2004
A Film by Ron Shelton
Dark Blue opens with what looks like it is an episode of COPS but turns out to be a police chase that ends up as the Rodney King beating by L.A. cops. The movie then turns to show that the cops involved in the incident are now on trial and there are whispers that if the cops get off (as most expect that the will), the city will erupt. It is with this tension that we are introduced to Eldon Perry (Kurt Russell). Perry is an L.A. detective (plainclothes) and is somewhat of a controversial figure. He does his job, gets the criminals, but his methods are suspect. He follows orders, but uses somewhat excessive force in getting the bad guy. Perry views his job as the good guys (cops) versus the bad guys and that he is justified in using any means necessary in getting the bad guys.
Perry has a new partner, a young cop named Bobby Keough (Scott Speedman). Near the beginning of the movie we see Bobby in an internal review on his use of force in a case. Bobby shot a perp and with Perry's testimony he is cleared of all internal charges. The movie is less a pure story driven film than it is a revealing of who Perry is and the situation of the L.A.P.D. during the Rodney King era. There is corruption starting at the top and there are idealistic cops (usually young) and there are some cops like Arthur Holland (Ving Rhames) who are still upstanding men and trying to do the right thing even when the other captains are not.
This is a harsh look at the L.A.P.D. at a very heated time with the riots just around the corner (indeed, the Rodney King riots begin during the movie). It is a whole lot better than I could have expected and this has to be one of Kurt Russell's best roles. This is one of the better police movies that you will see and is an under-looked gem of 2002.
-Joe Sherry
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3.0 out of 5 stars Dark Blue REVIEW! April 25 2004
Set to the backdrop of the forthcoming L.A. riots in 1992, Kurt Russell is crooked LAPD detective Eldon Perry who is attempting to solve a liquor store robery homicide that has actually been executed by two drug addict informants who are in the back pocket of his higher-up (Brendan Gleeson). When the order is sent in to stick the crime to two other suspects, Perry does just that. Problem is that Perry and his young partner, Bobby Keough (Scott Speedman) are already being investigated by the tireless Deputy Chief Holland. Ron Shelton who is known for his sports-related comedies like "White Men Can't Jump" and "Bull Durham" gives a nice effort in his first try at a police drama but the dreary photography and overly talky premise keeps this one from being a real crowd-pleaser. The script from "Training Day" screenwriter David Ayer is clever but the film seems to lack any energy at all until its explosive final act. Kurt Russell gives a solid performance but the rest of the cast with the possible exception of rap artist Kurupt all seem tired and unispired. "Dark Blue" is by no means a bad film but it moves so slowly at times that only a certain crowd will be able to sit through it.
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Why is there no "0 Stars" selection? If there were, this movie would certainly be worthy of it.
Ok, where do I start? It's 1992, during the heat of the Rodney King cops trial and Kurt Russell's character is acting like it's 1950 -- he's literally roughing up anything that moves. Oh, and what does he instruct his partner to do when they have an unarmed suspect corned in an alley? He says "SHOOT HIM! SHOOT HIM! SHOOT HIM!" while, get this, there is a police helicopter overhead and they can see a 5-year-old girl watching from her window. And the partner shoots the suspect dead!! WHAT IS HAPPENING!?!?
This movie was such garbage. I can't express this enough. And when it was over, my father (a 30-year police vet) turned to me and said "What the @&%$* was that?" Turns out he and I both wanted to stop watching it after 5 minutes, but we didn't want to ruin the other person's experience. Had I known he wanted to stop watching, we would've stopped it after 5 minutes.
Take my word for it -- it doesn't get much worse than this. A close 2nd is COLD CREEK MANOR with Sharon Stone and Dennis Quaid.
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Some say "Dark Blue" resembles "The Training Day." That's no wonder, because both films' scripts are from the same person, David Ayer, whose has first-hand knowledge about being street-smart. The difference is, "Dark Blue" has no Denzel Washington. But don't be disappointed, for Kurt Russell, after lamenable turns in "Vanilla Sky" and "3000 Miles to Graceland," gives his career-best performance as Eldon Perry, an LA cop who is so determined to erase the bad that he has become the part of it.
The story (originally based on the one by acclaimed writer James Ellroy, the guy behind "L.A. Confidential") has nothing original except one thing (I'm coming back to that). Eldon got a partner, rookie cop (surprisingly good Scott Speedman), and with him he investigates a brutal case of murder at a liquor shop run by a Korean American. But what he finds out leads not to the criminals (about them you see in the opening), but to the corruption of the system of justice.
In the meanwhile, a determined assistant police chief (Ving Rhames) is watching for the chance to 'get' Eldon and his boss LAPD chief Brendan Gleeson, both of whom he heartily despises. And there is even a story about love between the two sects....
Except for the factor about the 1992 trial about the police and Mr. Rodney King, and its shocking consequences in South Central, LA, the film has nothing new to add the genre. The combination of veteran and rookie can be seen back in these 'Dirty Harry' films, and what Clint Eastwood has done, you see done in "Dark Blue." Though the film manages to show the intense moments (like the re-created riot scenes), what you will see, I am afraid, has already been seen.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good overall
apart from the immplausible premise of those cops having a policy to not take suspects alive and getting away with it and the confession scene at the end, this movie was about as... Read more
Published on July 5 2004 by "thmnshw4"
1.0 out of 5 stars Typical cop-hating flick
First of all, if you've already seen L.A. Confidential, skip this movie, because it's just a cheap rip-off of it. Read more
Published on June 17 2004 by Denny Gibbons
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT
Okay,its not perfect.But in my opinion it rises above the rest because of the greatness of brendan gleeson,kurt russell and lolita davidovich. Read more
Published on May 1 2004 by Joseph W. Hayes
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst I have seen
I would like to mention firstly that Russell's perfomance was great, and was the only reason I didn't pull the plug on my dvd player half way thru this awful movie. Read more
Published on April 11 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars I hope this one takes Russell into the first league again.
The great news about this movie is that I hope it will take Kurt Russell to his well-deserved place among Hollywood's first echalon stars, a place he lost gradually due to unknown... Read more
Published on March 29 2004 by Carmarthen
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad Training Day wanna-be.........
I thought this film was pretty good. It kind of reminded me of Training Day at first, but then about half-way through the movie goes a different direction. Read more
Published on Feb. 29 2004 by Elite14
2.0 out of 5 stars this can't be compared 2 training day
this is a really bad copy of training day. Training day is way better than this movie. The movie was slow and sometimes really boring.
Published on Dec 13 2003 by Guillermo AKA Tony
Published on Dec 8 2003 by MICHAEL TAYLOR
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