Newest Reviews
Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Sullivans, The
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
War of the Wizards
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Newest Articles
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
  Gang Related Bad Cop, Bad Cop
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: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 2902 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser


Last Updated: