Synopsis: A botched robbery indicates a police informant, and the pressure mounts in the aftermath at a warehouse. Crime begets violence as the survivors -- veteran Mr. White, newcomer Mr. Orange, psychopathic parolee Mr. Blonde, bickering weasel Mr. Pink and Nice Guy Eddie -- unravel.
I recently purchased the 4K Steelbook from Best Buy of this film. The slipcover and steelbook really are a great and unique cover: An amazing 4k transfer and this review is my watch of this new 4k release not my initial viewing experience likely on DVD with my group of friends back in 2002. The steelbook has a great image of the main characters siloetted against palm trees and in the foreground you have the car that might as well be the third lead of the film.
I realized that this film has loomed large in my memory for a film I have only seen once, it is truly a relentless and punishing Denzel Washington performance. In this film we find Denzel as the grizzled detective Alonzo, leading up a narcotics team in the Los Angeles Police Department. The film opens on Jake a rookie cop played by Ethan Hawke who has been assigned to join the narcotics team lead by Alonzo. I think the power of this film is how from the moment you meet Jake you realize he is a good, ethical rookie cop from his interactions with his wife Lisa played by Charlotte Ayanna to open the movie, young and in love, truly idealistic. The first interaction of Alonzo is via a phone call where he is flirty with Lisa and then tells Jake roll call is for them, deliniating himself and his team from the rest of the police department.
We as the audience don’t know how to take Alonzo and neither does Jake, seems charming, prickly and scary at first blush, pushing Jake to tell him a story since he won’t shut up and let him read his paper. Jake tells a story of a bust that he and his female partner conducted, and Alonzo presses Jake to talk about if he had slept with his partner. There is so many different scenes that continue to stake up how questionable Alonzo is including forcing Jake to smoke what he thinks is week and then let’s Jake and us know that it was marijuana laced with PCP.
We get to a crazy finale where Alonzo has gone back to his girlfriend’s house in the middle of a super rough neighborhood and Jake goes to confront him and stop him. A truly rough and amazing final fight where you eventually get Alonzo screaming at a group of thugs, | King Kong ain’t got nothing on me!
One of my favorite sequences in all of cinema, this movie is brutal and uncomfortable throughout, it was a tough watch for my wife and mother-in-law when we watched it over Easter weekend 🙃