Directed by: Ed Anders
Starring: Marc Singer, Steve Bacic, Wayne Crawford, Michael Roberds, Kiara Hunter, Charles Durning, Dennis Hopper, and Michael Madsen
Wade (Bacic) is a young L.A.P.D. cop, and his partner and mentor is Sam Steele (Singer). When their fellow cops Alexander (Madsen), Sextram (Crawford), and Meyerling (Roberds), among others, begin throwing wild parties at a house in the Hollywood hills, and getting involved in illegal activities, Wade doesn’t like it and it begins tearing his professional and personal life apart. Steele is more conflicted, and his father (Durning) and Alexander’s father have histories on the force. When all this affects his girlfriend Kimberly (Hunter), things get personal for Steele and it leads to a showdown. Also, the captain at the precinct is Elsworth (Hopper) - even though it’s fairly irrelevant to the plot, it’s Dennis Hopper, and he’s front and center on the box art even though he’s only in the film for a few minutes.
Anything else you may have read about how bad this movie is, is more than likely true - it has an incredibly cheap, junky look, and even the music feels very low budget. Not that low budget on its own is a bad thing - but what clearly happened here was that all the money the filmmakers had was spent on corralling all these great actors together. But sure, the movie has a killer cast...but at what price?
Probably the most offensive thing about LAPD is that it portrays cops in such a negative light. It tends to leave a bad taste in your mouth. This movie was obviously influenced by such films as The Choirboys (1977), The New Centurions (1972), and Extreme Justice (1993), but it’s all done so ham-fistedly. If someone tried to film a James Ellroy story like Dark Blue (2002) on their video camera, something like LAPD might result.
The only snag with it being an Ellroy-style out-and-out L.A. story is...wait for it...this movie was shot in Canada! That’s right, except for some exterior shots (we think), the whole thing was done in Vancouver. Why didn’t they just change the storyline to be about Mounties?
Special note about the locations: In one scene you can see the video store Video Update - their stickers are on many used VHS tapes. We have some in our collections, and you probably do too. Also, there’s a scene at an “adult” movie theater and some characters spend a lot of time in front of a poster for the Romp Screwball Hotel (1988).
The movie is pretty light on action, and what action remains is pretty ridiculous - they were trying for a cop drama sort of thing apparently. There are plenty of cliches, and not all good ones either. Crawford as Sextram looks exactly like Robert DeNiro (or perhaps a lost Baldwin brother). Michael Madsen, who’s cool all the time (possibly for his undying love of 2 liter bottles of Pepsi), and all the other names (why is Charles Durning here?) make the movie at least watchable - and it is fairly coherent - so this isn’t the worst movie ever made but it’s still pretty awful. It was released as a budget-priced (probably a dollar or so) DVD with an unflattering cardstock sleeve.
We wouldn’t tell you to put LAPD at the top of your list, unless you are an extreme fan of any of the names involved.
Also check out DTVC's review!
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett