Directed by Oren Moverman
From 24 February 2012
This is a very watchable film but does not add much to the genre of LAPD
Adapted from a story by James Ellroy - who penned the novel of which
the superb LA Confidential film was based upon - it details the personal
disintegration of a corrupt cop, Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson), who falls
foul of his superiors after his latest misdemeanour, in which he savagely
beats up a driver, who had accidentally crashed into his patrol car.
It is set in 1999 at the Rampart division of the LAPD, with stong overtones
evident of the vicious treatment meted out to Rodney King eight years
earlier by a rabble of so-called law enforcers.
Harrellson, renowned for his starring role in Natural Born Killers, produces
a bravado performance as a guy who thinks himself, however misguided,
as a hero and above the law.
The notable handheld camera style - in particular the close-up shots
- thumbs up to cinematographer Bobby Bukowski - and brilliant film editing,
captures well his twisted and bizzare moral code.
His circumstances are not helped by a very odd home life. He lives with
his two ex-wives and two daughters from each marriage.
This unhealthy grouping adds to his confusion and alienation, and he
resorts to ever more heavy smoking - Brown is seldom seen throughout the
film without a cigarette in his mouth - and constant drinking - even gulping
down spirits when driving through LA while on duty, not to mention his
consumption of uppers.
His ever-gathering descent into oblivion and estrangement from his families
is poignantly captured in the closing scenes of the drama, with little
sympathy being offered for his self-inflicted plight.