Cast members Keanu Reeves (L), Forest Whitaker (C) and Chris Evans attend the premiere of 'Street Kings' at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California April 3, 2008. The movie opens in the U.S. on April 11.(Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)
By Kirk Honeycutt
Thu Apr 3, 11:01 PM ET
L.A.'s mean streets get meaner than ever in "Street Kings," and little wonder considering its pedigree. The film is directed by David Ayer, who penned the dirty-cop movie "Training Day," and based on a script largely written by L.A.'s mad-dog crime novelist/moralist James Ellroy.
We are all bad people, says LAPD vice Capt. Jack Wander (Forest Whitaker). Indeed, "Kings" is filled with bad people, bad cops and one almost absurdly idealistic cop, Keanu Reeves' Detective Tom Ludlow, who nevertheless breaks rule and heads without a moment's hesitation. "Kings" covers familiar territory but does so with ruthless efficiency, intense performances and a densely packed plot designed to highlight the moral issues that most concern Ayer and Ellroy.
"Kings" has solid box office potential, especially for males of all ages. Plus, the film has one of Reeves' best performances: concentrated, grave, a little sad and more than a little demented.