Dark Blue (2003)

Still wondering what this had to do with Rodney King trials.

Director Ron Shelton’s thriller illustrates how deep corruption runs in the Los Angeles Police Department in April 1992, days before the acquittal of four white officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King. In this charged climate, brutal veteran Elden Perry (Kurt Russell) and others in Chief Holland’s (Ving Rhames) Special Investigations Squad are assigned a high-profile quadruple homicide — and their win-at-any-cost attitude must go.

I have seen so many cop dramas, that it’s really hard to say when one is fresh. They each have the same exact plot line mostly, and same out-come, but it all depends on how great those performances are that make the film fun and new, this is one of them with some new takes.

The best thing about this film worth mentioning is the randomly casted Kurt Russell. Out of all the actors working in the biz today, you would not expect Russell to be acting in such a role that demands so much, but even though its a surprise he’s cast as the lead, it’s an even bigger surprise that he’s totally believable with all of it. He plays this third generation cop, who has so much to live up to, and so much to give that it’s hard for him not to fold under pressure, so he does these terrible things to make him look better: kill innocents, plant evidence, etc. But he also goes from bad cop, to hate able cop, to completley evil cop that you want to see dead. He plays this character so well, that he’s not such a guy you hate so much, even though he does these evil things, but also, you feel sympathy for him, cause these things that he does do, are all because of the pressure he feels from supporting his line of work, that hiss family already succeeded with.

Scott Speedman is also pretty good, playing the rookie cop well, even though there’s only one real way you can play it. However, some other cast members were just bland. Ving Rhames is one-note the whole time, never barely showing emotion, and delivering his lines like he was just asking for the paycheck. Sadly, Brendan Gleeson, isn’t very exciting to watch, and his accent is still not believable, especially when he’s trying to sound like an American dude, when he just sounds like he got done from doing 28 Days Later, which he probably was.

The story by the end is interesting with its nice twists and turns, however, does have some problems it comes to being original. I have seen this story done many and many of times, and this shouldn’t have been any different. The last and final speech by Russell is well-acted, but comes off as too random and poetic for me. Mostly, cause it comes at a time when the Rodney King riots are happening, and its just such a coincidence.

Consensus: It’s a by-the-numbers, unsurprising film with a mediocre script, but Dark Blue still features a great performance from Russell that is still worth seeing.



  1. man, youre hard to please these days Dan
    this is a terrific film – Kurt Russell and Ving Rhames shouting at each other.. what more do you want?
    hehe, you want a real Rhames dud? check out Undisputed – hes a boxer who fights Wesley Snipes…. in prison! it really is as brilliant as it sounds

  2. kurt russell is still the best actor that ever lived that can do action comedy and drama. any movie with kurt russell is great. i mean it. dark blue was really good.

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