In South Central Los Angeles, street cops Brian and Mike are partners – balls-out cowboys patrolling the streets as Latino gangs are in a power struggle with Blacks. Brian and Mike get lucky a couple of times, making big drug and human-trafficking busts, so a Mexican cartel orders their deaths.
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The first rule of Hollywood cinema is: The white Caucasian hero cannot die even if he's shot a million times at close range. Especially if he the movie's executive producer. The Mexican sidekick, on the other hand, can AND will be immolated. When it comes to maintaining the dominant ideology and the status quo, nothing does it better than Hollywood cinema.
A real surprise. Yes, as others have pointed out, the villains feel like archetypes, but the chemistry and bond developed between the two lead characters is genuine. And that's what carries this film throughout.
A gangland thriller that's energetic in a way that completely takes you off guard with its surprisingly good performances and the tense (at times stressful) style. Although the "found footage" gimmick seems odd at first (with little explanation other than being a project, seemingly with no focus) but it grows on you, and you learn to expect strange angles and point-of-view perspectives of the action. Well done, Ayer.