Hip-hop culture infused reversal of the “buddy cop” formula which sees Denzel Washington - complete with platinum and diamond crucifix - preaching on the righteousness of street justice as he takes rookie detective Ethan Hawke on a whistlestop tour of LAPD corruption.
Denzel Washington shines in a Academy Award winning role about a corrupt cop with his own set of rules, but I hate the film's climax that feel like Hollywood moral police demanding that the anti-hero cop is put to justice. Ethan Hawke tries his best to save this ending by doing his role as sympathetically and good as he can under the circumstances, but I felt he failed.
Here, Washington is in terrific form as one of the best villains in the crime genre and his performance, along with Hawke's, helps elevate this film from being just a normal cop thriller. Unfortunately it has too many cliches to be an original work but for the most part there's a reason why they're cliches, and it works.