Street Kings starts off with Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves) throwing up in the toilet – we assume that it’s part of his daily routine, as is picking up a handful mini bar bottles from the local dairy for breakfast – it seems like Tom can’t function with out the dulling sense of alcohol flowing through his system.
Then Tom gets to work and we soon see that he’s got a killer instinct, and total disregard for the laws of the land, but he gets the job done and keeps his boss happy, so he’s a good cop.
Street King’s definition of a good cop however might differ from the textbook definitions, but then this is Hollywood, and in Hollywood, good cops are rarer then hen’s teeth.
Keanu is in his element in Street Kings – the movie is clichéd but enjoyable – it’s an action packed joy ride and Keanu knows he’s the star and is enjoying the attention. He’s a likable character, if only because we know deep down that he’s the closets thing that the movie is gonna serve up to being a good cop. He’s the antihero that’s going to save the day.
Before Street Kings is over however, Tom Ludlow is going to have to learn a few things and as the very House like Hugh Laurie quips at one point; “Once your eyes were open, there was no other outcome.” It’s like Tom only existed, running on auto, not realising what was going on around him. But once those eyes were open, Tom was a man on a mission.
With a thumping soundtrack, plenty of action and more violence than the R16 rating suggests, Street Kings is a check your brain at the door movie for the boys. Mostly just a guilty pleasure, it does have some spiritual insights, but you’ll have to be paying attention or they’ll go whizzing right by like a clip of bullets.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: R16 – Contains Violence & Offensive Language.
Duration: 109 mins.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller.
Director: David Ayer.
Actors: Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans, Common, Naomie Harris.
Release Date: Available now.