Street Kings

There are currently three movies at the local multiplex that I want to see: “Street Kings,” “The Ruins,” and “Diary of the Dead.”Today, “Street Kings” won out mainly due to the outstanding folks behind it.

The screenplay was created by James [novelist and screenwriter – do I really need to list credits for him?] Elroy, Kurt [“Equilibrium” “The Recruit”] Wimmer, and Jamie Moss.

It stars: Keanu [“Matrix”] Reeves, Forest [“The Shield”] Whitaker, Hugh [“House”] Laurie, Chris [“Fantastic Four”] Evans, Cedric “The Entertainer,” Jay [“Suicide Kings”] Mohr, Terry [“Harsh Times”] Crews, Naomi [“28 Days Later”] Harris, and Amaury [“Prison Break”] Nolasco.

It was directed by David [“Harsh Times”] Ayer.

The Pitch: “The Shield” meets “Training Day.” Keanu plays a bad cop falsely accused of killing his old partner who had been talking to internal affairs. His team has a cover-up in place, but Keanu wants to find the killers… no matter the cost to him or the team. Soon no one can be trusted.

The Good: * The story. The action from the opening scenes to the end. * The cast. Chris Evans, Naomi Harris and Cedric the Entertainer need special mention as they made the scenes they were in even better. I was worried that Cedric would be out of place in a serious movie, but he made his character work. * The Tension: The scene in the apartment especially — “I am your nightmare.” The scene in the car when Keanu works the handcuffs and the two scenes that follow — not your typical turn of events. * The ending [as surprising and as bold as the ending of “The Mist.”]

The Bad: everyone.

The Ugly: the two gangbangers after being dug up.

Summary: Although not a classic, “Street Kings” will definitely find a home in my dvd collection. If you’re looking for action in the “Training Day” vein, then “Street Kings” is for you.