Dark Blue | Chicago Reader

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Eleven years on, someone in Hollywood has finally worked up the nerve to address the LA riots—but only on the slickest terms imaginable, as the finale to yet another dirty-cop drama. Kurt Russell gives a dynamic performance as a weary but gleefully cynical LAPD detective whose verdict on the Rodney King beating is “They should have wasted that motherfucker's ass.” Having executed more than one suspect himself, he does his best to infect his rookie charge (Scott Speedman) with the vigilante spirit as they investigate a bloody convenience store robbery. The jury deliberations in Simi Valley tick away like a time bomb throughout, but when the cops are acquitted and the rioting breaks out, it seems less like a national tragedy than the action-packed climax to “Escape From South Central.” Ron Shelton (Bull Durham) directed. 118 min.

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