The Rodney King riots of April 1992 hang like a keg of dynamite over Dark Blue, a crackling tale of Los Angeles police corruption that gives Kurt Russell one of the best roles of his underrated career. Adapted by Training Day screenwriter David Ayer from a story by L.A. Confidential novelist James Ellroy, the plot finds Russell's rule-bending detective teamed with a promising young partner (Scott Speedman) whose ethics have yet to be tainted. Their boss (Brendan Gleeson) is a lawless maverick, maneuvering the unwitting detectives into covering up a lucrative robbery scam, while L.A.P.D.'s Deputy Chief (Ving Rhames) campaigns to bring them all down. While adhering to familiar cop-thriller formula, director Ron Shelton (Bull Durham) escalates tension with forceful impact, drawing a climactic parallel between the King riots and the fallout from Russell's cynical behavior. It's a powerhouse combination, allowing Russell to find shades of complexity in a character who realizes, almost too late, that he's a devil in the hell of L.A.
Ex rental (Blockbuster) in nice shape