Synopsis by Mark Deming
A cop's personal code of justice begins to change after a number of incidents lead his city to a tragic wave of violence in this police drama. Eldon Perry (Kurt Russell) is a veteran cop with the LAPD's Special Investigations unit, a man who isn't above bending the law if it means putting people behind bars who deserve the treatment. As Los Angeles waits on the verdict in the Rodney King police beating trial, Perry is presenting testimony to Assistant Chief of Police Arthur Holland (Ving Rhames), who is well aware of the corruption in the SIS unit and wants to stop it. Perry, however, twists some facts as he speaks in the defense of his new partner, Bobby Keough (Scott Speedman), who is being investigated for inappropriate use of deadly force. For lack of honest testimony, Keough is let off the hook, and soon he and Perry have a new case to investigate -- a robbery at a liquor store than turned into a quadruple homicide. Perry and Keough quickly track down two likely suspects, Orchard (Kurupt) and Sidwell (Dash Mihok), but Perry is surprised when the head of SIS, Van Meter (Brendan Gleeson), tells him to let Orchard and Sidwell go, and instead points the finger at two ex-cons who should be taken off the street, even though they're innocent of this crime. Perry follows Van Meter's orders, despite Keough's misgivings, but in the wake of the L.A. riots, Perry has a change of heart, and decides to start working with Holland against Van Meter's corrupt methods. In the midst of it all, Perry is trying to hold together his troubled marriage to Sally (Lolita Davidovich), while Keough finds himself romancing a fellow officer, Beth (Michael Michele). Dark Blue was adapted from an original screenplay by noted crime novelist James Ellroy; originally set against the backdrop of the 1965 Watts riots, the story was later updated to 1992.
police-detective, police-corruption, African-American, cover-up, partner, police-chief, riot [uprising], testimony, urban-problems, safe, shopkeeper