Unpredictability saves ‘Kings’

To some, Keanu Reeves will never be able to shake off that mediocre acting and his “whoa, dude” mentality. But in Street Kings, an L.A crime drama that also stars Forest Whitaker and House’s Hugh Laurie, Reeves has a few moments of badass brilliance.

Reeves plays Detective Tom Ludlow, who stops crooks in less-than-ethical ways. But Ludlow isn’t the only bad cop in his precinct, as his boss Captain Jack Wander (Whitaker) plays a big part in the corruption of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Directed by David Ayer (Training Day), Street Kings looks like just another average cop drama with rapper cameos. But what makes this film stand out is its unique blend of unexpected turns and interesting casting selections. Rapper Common shines in his few scenes as a thugged-out drug kingpin, while Jay Mohr takes a break from his previous funny-guy roles to play a convincing police officer.

At times, it can be difficult to take Reeves seriously. However, Street Kings still has plenty of action for the thrill seekers, as well as unpredictable story twists for those looking for more substance.

Felipe Yanez may be contacted at f.yanez@umiami.edu.