This is a dark, brooding, violent
depressing portrayal of police work in
. If there is any kind of morality at all, itís a twisted version of
street karma----eventually, you get whatís coming to you.
Whether you think thatís what you deserve or not.
Nobodyís a nice guy.
Richard Gere plays Eddie, the beat patrolman whose law enforcement
career never went anywhere. Now,
heís got less than a week left before he can finally retire.
He lives by himself in a dingy, unfurnished apartment with gang
activity right outside his door. He
seems to have spent most of his bread on that which did not satisfy (Isaiah
55:2): women who will whisper
sweet nothings in his ear, for a price.
The sad part is that he thinks he may be in love with a sweet-faced
hooker whose specialty is servicing police officers (Proverbs 5:3-6).
But he will admit that to no one.
And he will not even deign to be cordial to the rookies assigned to
him by his boss. He just
doesnít want to fool with that, doesnít want to rock the boat, and
doesnít want to expend time and energy trying to teach someone, protesting
that heís not a role model. Ah,
but he does possess the sound judgment of a mature veteran, almost despite
himself. He tries to tone down
a silly argument in a convenience store that looks like it could get ugly,
while his rookie partner, overeager to establish his heavy-handed authority,
is all too willing to jump into the fray and needlessly escalate the
shouting match. Eddie would
like to ignore anything that might jeopardize his chances to just exit
quietly, but of course, heís confronted with a scathing injustice that he
must decide whether he can ignore.
Ethan Hawke plays Sal, an angst-ridden
drug enforcement cop who wants so desperately to improve the living
conditions for his young wife and small children that some of the
blood-soaked drug money floating around starts to look appealing to him.
And once he takes one step down that dark path, it spirals into the
void so quickly that he canít control his own slippery descent to the
Don Cheadle plays Tango, the
undercover officer who has finally made some significant inroads into a
particularly tough street gang, but his smarmy supervisor keeps wanting him
to make one more revelation, point one more finger, accompany one more raid,
continually dangling that detective promotion, until Tango is jangled and
jaded with the effort of playing both sides convincingly.
Wesley Snipes returns as Caz, just out
of prison and anxious to take back his gang territory again, and resume his
lifelong friendship with Tango, but heís too street-smart not to sense
that something doesnít feel right here, and itís not just because heís
out of practice. In his line of
work, one sign of weakness, and the next thing you know is utter darkness.
Be prepared for blistering street
language, cavalier capricious nudity, unloving sexuality, and breathtakingly
sudden brutality. Itís not a
pretty sight. But, like a train
wreck, itís hard not to develop a certain macabre fascination,
sensibilities be damned. And
thatís exactly how it plays.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace