Monday, 15 February 2010

L.A. Confidential

Next film on the chopping block is Curtis Hanson's 1997 movie "L.A. Confidential".
Adapted from James Ellory's novel of the same name, Set in the 1950's the film tells the story of three Los Angeles Policemen who's lives are changed forever while investigating a multiple murder at the Nigh Owl Cafe, but all is not well in Los Angeles and throughout their investigation they begin to uncover the corruption that surrounds their lives.

This film is a great example of how novels can be converted into films effectively; The characters are converted well from novel to film and the actors that portray them are chosen perfectly, and the film changes enough from the novel to function effectively and reduce some of the excess side stories in order to spare the audience unnecessary confusion, and even then several of the sub plots are rewritten in order for them to fit into the main plot.

At this point in the review I would usually voice my opinion on the acting of some of the actors with smaller roles in the film, but this time I'm going to focus on the main cast in order to express how truly amazing some of the acting is in this movie, with special mention going to all three members of the main cast as the three officers the story resolves around:
Russell Crowe is brilliant as usual as "Officer Bud White" who is often underestimated as being a mindless thug by other officers, He is shown to have a incredible hatred towards woman beaters relating back to a childhood trauma and this back story gives the character a real sense of humanity due to the way in which it has impacted upon his life.

Guy Pearce's "Ed Exley" is possibly one of the most interesting characters in this film largely due to the contradictions that the character creates in that he is possibly one of the most ambitious character that I have seen on screen, and his attitude is summed up perfectly with the line "He also said" "that you'd screw yourself to get ahead".

And to complete the trio a mention goes to Kevin Spacey as he is able to add real depth to the role of "Det. Sgt. Jack Vincennes" a character who is driven solely by the fame that he attains from his arrests; and this is where the film seems to draw its true strength from in the way in which the reasons that each of the officers had for choosing a career in law enforcement have become corrupted by their desire to succeed, this is most apparent in the character of Jack Vincennes who even admits that he cannot remember why it was he choose the career in the first place, 
And Ed Exley who despite choosing the career in order to bring criminals who believed that they could beat the system to justice, but soon becomes so driven to rise through the ranks and exceed his father he looses sight of this.

This film features scenes in which the firefights are more intense than many war films I have seen, and the plot is strong throughout and the conclusion comes together nicely to wrap everything up, also this film features one of the most sudden and unexpected deaths that I have ever seen, and which cant help but shift your perception of the film and leaves you uncertain if any character is safe
So in summation this is another film that i highly recommend as it is without doubt one of the best films of the 90's and shows today's films how its done.

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