“Life is good in Los Angeles, it’s paradise on Earth. That’s what they tell you, anyway.”
LA Confidential focuses on three very different cops. Bud White (Russell Crowe) is a tough guy, used mostly to persuade suspects to talk and has a soft spot for wronged women. They’re often the trigger his explosive rage. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is a celebrity crime stopper who works with tabloid writer Sid Hudgens (Danny DeVito). Hudgens digs up some star-studded dirt, Jack makes the arrest. Hudgens gets a front page story and Jack gets a quick buck. And young, golden boy Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) will do anything to move up and gain some respect from the force, as long as it’s honorable.
When a brutal multiple homicide occurs at a late night diner, where an ex cop was among the victims, Bud, Jack and Exley too involved and realizes corruption within their police department. They have their own ways of searching for the truth, Jack sees what he can find in Tinseltown and Exley snoops into old police files. Meanwhile, Bud has discovered a prostitution ring where all the girls are made up (even to the extent of plastic surgery) to look like movie stars.
There he meets Lynn (Kim Basinger), a brunet turned blond for business. She seems to be doing well and have a good handle on things, but with his compulsion to help a damsel in distress Bud falls for her. It is an intriguing relationship, especially at first where Bud isn’t sure if he’s asking for a date or an appointment. Only with Lynn do we find a softer side to Bud and an understanding for his volatile behavior. For bringing out the best in Bud, Basinger took home the award for Best Supporting Actress.
Due to it’s 1950’s setting the whole film has a wonderfully noir feel. Good cops, bad cops and criminals all prowl the humid streets of LA in classic cars, suits and fedoras. The ladies all look like dazzling movie stars and can cause some confusion. It is horribly funny when a huge movie star is mistaken for a lookalike prostitute. Spacey’s smile says more than my burst of laughter.
The heart of the film is the crime, corruption and a wonderful whodunit. The whole ride is intriguing, intelligent, dark and with great twists. Just try to figure out who’s a good cop, you might be surprised quite a few times and love it. And if you’re the kind who gets confused along the way, don’t worry, there’s a recap at the end where it all makes sense. It isn’t fun to still be puzzling while the credits roll.
If you enjoy Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacy, Danny DeVito, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger or James Cromwell (he’s a very important cop as well), this is a must see, all the acting is wonderful. For those who love a good whodunit, or classic crime movie, you’ve got to see this one. LA Confidential is now my favorite cop flick, and it could be yours too.
“Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush.”