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Finally, a Movie That Makes Me
Want To Gouge Out My Eyes With My Pen

Dark Blue
Wrt. David Ayer (adapted from the story by James Ellroy)
Dir. Ron Shelton
Str. Kurt Russell, Jim Cody Williams, Ving Rhames, Brendan Gleeson
Opens February 21st

Imagine if L.A. Confidential and Training Day met one afternoon, fell in love, and tried to make a baby; but they used drugs not approved by the FDA for the labor pains and out popped Dark Blue. It's kind of a horrific, idiot, mutant flipper-baby of a movie, painful to watch and evoking nothing but pity from all that are forced to stare into its awful grotesqueness.

There are piles of violence and intrigue, and gun fights, not to mention the slowest car chase in the history of film, but still Dark Blue is excruciatingly boring to watch. And it was probably excruciating to be in as well. On every actor's face is a queer, befuddled look bordering on amazement-- as though they can't believe the words which have pour out of their mouths, like so much rancorous bile; on top of that it feels as though everyone is speaking their own individual language, so that there is no sense of communication, or even comprehension as one character speaks to another. It's like everyone is speaking to cardboard cutouts of everyone else. Even the fabulous Brendan Gleeson looks lost, and carries a grimace throughout the movie as if his role, itself, smells of sour cheese.

This movie takes cliché to a whole new, amazing level. And we are talking cliché folded in with heavy symbolism and deep meaning all forced down the throat like a bulimics index finger. Take, for example, one scene in which a group of corrupt white officers talk about a raid on a black neighborhood that's about to take place "If you knock one of the fucks down... keep them down." And then we immediately cut to Ving Rhames dressed in his full officer's uniform standing at the pulpit in church giving a speech that literally begins with "I remember my first day on the job." Oh! The irony…. It burns! Or Kurt Russell drinking his Royal Crown out of Dixie cups, because he's just THAT trashy. I'm not completely sure what we're supposed to learn from this movie. Cops are corrupt? But, didn't we already know that?

The fact that the story was written by James Ellroy and the pseudo-Chinatown music towards the end only make you yearn for something better, and force you realize how truly awful this movie is. It's like asking for Crème Brule and getting a bowl of warm half-n-half instead.

Dark Blue wins as the first movie of the year to get a-half-a-hipster. Way to go. It should be very proud. If this movie makes it in theatres longer than Swept Away (hailed by critics nationwide as last years worst movie) then truly there is injustice in the world - I mean, at least Madonna is still a little hot.

--B.C. Edwards
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[email protected] | February 2003 | Issue 35
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