Dark Blue

Reviewed By wintermute
Posted 02/19/03 03:42:55

"No Kasparov in sight!"
1 stars (Total Crap)

Oh wait, that's DEEP BLUE. And you know, it's really a shame that this train-wreck of a cop drama couldn't instead have been a touching story about a cold, impersonal computer that plays chess and the young, bookish programmer who loves him, because maybe then it would have been FUCKING INTERESTING!

Sure, all the ingredients are in place - Kurt Russell in the most unconvincing role of his career as the badass LAPD hatchet man, Ving Rhames not once removing his uniform, and the glaringly old Michael Michele seducing the irritatingly pretty Scott Speedman.

Unfortunately, it turns out that these are the ingredients for cinematic meltdown. Underachieving director Ron Shelton throws in a fat cop, a shouting cop, some dirty cops and the L.A. riots, but not even history can save this bloated, grinding amateur flick from the celluloid shit pile.

FIrst of all, the film has absolutely nothing to do with the riots. They merely serve as a convenient 'message laden' backdrop that Shelton can fall back on as a crutch anytime his story starts to drag, the first instance of which can be found about 5 minutes into the film. The Rodney King trial is on every television in every background, with the notable except of Russell's home, who COINCIDENTALLY refuses to talk about the trial. That's right, auterism at its finest. Russel has a wife, but she doesn't matter, and he has a kid, but he isn't onscreen until the last 4 minutes of the film. Scott Speedman may or may not have a personality, but really, since he spends much of the film wandering from scene to scene and only speaking when he's spoken too, it's unimportant.

On another, even more disappointing note, it's evident that Shelton must have directed most of the cast through telegrams or perhaps smoke signals, because half the film looks like it was ad-libbed underwater. The editing was reminiscent of the time I took way too much children's tylenol and was forced to watch reality jump and shift with no real causality or continuity. I half expected to see a boom mic or a hand in any given shot. Ving Rhames somehow ended up with maybe 10 minutes of screen time, turning his character into a brooding dramatic air-freshener, doing his best to alleviate the stink of the film's other performances. But alas, it wasn't enough, and the only other highlight of the film was seeing Speedman cut in half by machine gun fire and watching his little stick legs do the twitchy white-boy dance. Hahaha.

After Bull Durham, I didn't think that it was possible for me to hate Ron Shelton more than I already did. But 116 minutes later I was twice as wrong as he is boring, and that's not a good thing to be. I hope they write Dark Blue on his tombstone.

© Copyright HBS Entertainment, Inc.