Newest Reviews
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Body Parts
Newest Articles
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
  Gang Related Bad Cop, Bad CopBuy this film here.
Year: 1997
Director: Jim Kouf
Stars: James Belushi, Tupac Shakur, Lela Rochon, Dennis Quaid, James Earl Jones, David Paymer, Wendy Crewson, Gary Cole, Terrence 'T.C.' Carson, Brad Greenquist, James Handy, Kool Moe Dee, Victor Love, Robert LaSardo, Perry Anzilotti, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Frank Divinci (James Belushi) and his friend Rodriguez (Tupac Shakur) are sitting in a motel room and Divinci is waxing lyrical about his dreams of being in Hawaii rather than here, something which Rodriguez cannot get his head around. Before a full-blown argument erupts, the man they waiting for arrives to buy drugs from them and after a short discussion, they come to an agreement. As the contact drives off, however, he is shot dead in from a passing car - who has killed him? Only Divinci and Rodriguez, for they have a scam going on, and being police detectives they can easily get away with it. Until now...

The nineties was the last time the courtroom drama really enjoyed success on the big screen, what with those John Grisham adaptations and the likes of Presumed Innocent, A Few Good Men and Primal Fear packing them in at the world's multiplexes. Gang Related was one of the lesser ones, despite the publicity of being the final film of one of its stars, Tupac Shakur, but has since gone onto finding a small following thanks to that aspect along with some neat plotting that puts a spin on the old corrupt cops cliché we have been offered since the seventies.

Not every cop blowing away the bad guys is a Dirty Harry, and this is acknowledged here: in fact hardly any cop who takes the law into their own hands is particularly laudable and would probably be closer to Divinci and Rodriguez than any movie hero. Belushi presents a portrait in sleaze, with a policeman who not only cheats on his wife with a stripper, Cynthia Webb (Lela Rochon) but is not above planting evidence on innocent suspects - after all, they wouldn't be suspects if he and his partner were not in the business of framing them to cover their tracks.

Of course, the film takes a moral standpoint and places the two anti-heroes (actually, they're more like villains) in hot water when it turns out the dealer we saw murdered at the beginning of the film was in fact an undercover cop thinking he had a lead on whoever was killing off dealers across the city. Which he did, but his disguise was far too good, because now he's dead. Divinci and Rodriguez are forced to find someone to pin the blame on and after a succession of potential fall guys turn out to have excellent alibis Divinci hits on the notion that arresting the homeless guy who lives in the alley outside Cynthia's apartment would fit the bill.

This unfortunate (played by an almost unrecognisable Dennis Quaid) is too drunk to know any better so he seems perfect as he goes along with whatever they say. But life isn't easy if you're going the corruption route, and soon the bent coppers are tying themselves in knots in the efforts to hide their culpability. If director Jim Kouf's script goes in some unnecessary directions, such as the revelation of the true identity of the homeless guy, then it could still have stood to be more complex as the frequent courtroom scenes are the highlights. It's here we see lawyer James Earl Jones get to the heart of the conflicting evidence, and send Divinci and Rodriguez heading to their own special Hell. Gang Related (which doesn't feature any gangs) may be a minor work, its significance in Shakur's filmography notwithstanding, but it satisfies in that everyone gets what is coming to them. Music by Mickey Hart.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2654 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M


Last Updated: