In STREET KINGS, a police thriller directed by David Ayer, Keanu Reeves plays Tom Ludlow, a veteran LAPD Vice Detective. Ludlow sets out on a quest to discover the killers of his former partner, Detective Terrance Washington (Terry Crews). Academy® Award winner Forest Whitaker plays Captain Wander, Ludlow’s supervisor, whose duties include keeping him within the confines of the law and out of the clutches of Internal Affairs Captain Biggs (Hugh Laurie). Ludlow teams up with a young Robbery Homicide Detective (Chris Evans) to track Washington’s killers through the diverse communities of Los Angeles. Their determination pays off when the two Detectives track down Washington’s murderers and confront them in an attempt to bring them to justice.
This is a story about dirty cops. The only question is: who is dirty and who isn’t because appearances can be deceiving. The one good cop, Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves), is not above taking the law into his hands if it means getting rid of the dirt and grime of the streets. This movie is based in stark reality, including violent shooting and splattered blood, as well as some very coarse language.
The talent in the film is undeniable as Forest Whitaker and Hugh Laurie join Reeves in this gritty and violent picture. When Ludlow’s former partner, Terrance Washington, is gunned down in a store robbery, Ludlow begins his quest in sorting out if Washington was dirty or not, and if the murder was random or planned. This leads to some interesting developments and a few surprises by film’s end. It becomes obvious that one of two top police officers is behind a cover-up, but which one? It’s too bad the constant use of strong language and violence place the movie over the mark of Dove’s acceptability for family-friendly films. Therefore, we are unable to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to the picture.