This looks moderately badass.
I wasn’t a fan of David Ayer’s directorial debut, Harsh Times (way too one-note for my taste), but I dig the guy’s take on Los Angeles law enforcement. His scripts for Training Day and Dark Blue are savagely unsentimental depictions of the practically non-existent line separating cops and criminals in this city; at their best, they suggest a sort of pissed-off, modern-day Lumet. If only he could stick his third acts.
Ayer didn’t write Street Kings (formerly known as The Night Watchmen), but he’s got some pretty ace collaborators backing him up on this one: namely, James Ellroy and Kurt Wimmer. There’s a third screenwriter named Jamie Moss; since this is his first pro credit, I’m going to assume he knew well enough not to fuck with Ellroy’s down-and-dirty aesthetic (hell, the guy once bawled me out in a press conference for calling him “James” and not “Mr. Ellroy”; god, that was awesome!).
The trailer, which just debuted on Yahoo! Movies, sells the action more than the narrative, which concerns an elite group of police officers who go soaring several miles above the law in their efforts to bust up gang-operated drug rings. Keanu Reeves has done the LAPD thing before, but I’m pretty sure Street Kings won’t have him clearing a thirty-foot overpass gap with a city bus or firing his gun into the air and yelling “Ahhhh!” This is the real deal, and it looks like… he’s in the movie. I’m not crazy about his delivery on the “Quicks” remark, but context is everything.
Even if Keanu isn’t the most believable corrupt cop in the world, he’s got a killer lineup hitting behind him in Forrest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Common, Chris Evans, Naomie Harris and the godlike Terry Crews. You know you’ll be checking this out come April 11th.