A veteran narcotics undercover officer, Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington), escorts a rookie, Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) on his first day with the LAPD’s narcotics squad. Denzel plays a cross between gung-ho commander Lt. Colonel Kilgore (Robert Duvall) in Apocalypse Now, and the character Harvey Keitel played in The Bad Lieutenant. His training methods push rookie Jake to the edge of his morals, between right and wrong. Wanting to learn the streets from an experienced officer, he follows Alonzo’s lead even though some of his methods are highly unorthodox. Denzel Washington’s performance was very realistic and stole the show. The realism of the street was captured well, especially since the director used real-life Bloods and Crips from gangland as extras. The soundtrack features cuts from hip hop artists, such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog and Macy Gray, who also appear in the film. Of course there were some scenes that were hardly plausible and I groaned a couple of times at the absurdity, but the action was non stop and this film is a must-see for all who enjoy cop flicks and life-on-the-street epics.
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