Street Kings: Wikis


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Street Kings

Promotional movie poster
Directed by David Ayer
Produced by Lucas Foster
Alexandra Milchan
Erwin Stoff
Written by James Ellroy
Kurt Wimmer
Jamie Moss
Starring Keanu Reeves
Forest Whitaker
Hugh Laurie
Chris Evans
The Game
Naomie Harris
Terry Crews
Jay Mohr
Studio Regency Enterprises
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures (USA)
Release date(s) April 11, 2008
Running time 109 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million
Gross revenue $65,572,887(worldwide)

Street Kings (originally titled The Night Watchman) is a 2008 action-crime film, directed by David Ayer, and starring Keanu Reeves, Hugh Laurie and Forest Whitaker. It was released in theaters on April 11, 2008. The initial screenplay drafts were written by James Ellroy in the late 1990s under the title The Nightwatchman.



A disillusioned LAPD detective, Detective Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves), rarely plays by the rules and is haunted by the death of his wife, even though he has a girlfriend named Grace (Martha Higareda). Ludlow and all of the cops in his unit, including the unit's commander, Captain Jack Wander (Forest Whitaker), bend and break the rules of conduct on a regular basis. Their intention is often to deal with crime in a manner that they perceive to be more efficient, which leads them to routinely lie, falsify reports and manipulate evidence to cover up for their wrong-doings.


Finding the missing twins and Ludlow's rivalry with Washington

The movie starts with Tom Ludlow waking up, having been drinking the night before. Working undercover, he meets with Korean gangsters (whom he believes have kidnapped two Korean schoolgirls) in a parking lot, who are looking to buy a machine gun from him. After a vicious beatdown, the Koreans then proceed to steal Tom's car. However, Tom planned on this and has the cops locate the vehicle via GPS. Upon arrival at their hideout, Tom storms in and kills the four gangsters and proceeds to cover up what really happened before he rescues the missing children. While the other officers in his unit congratulate him, he is confronted by his former partner, Detective II Terrence Washington (Terry Crews). Washington no longer approves of the corruption and deception and has gone straight, reporting the problems to Captain James Biggs (Hugh Laurie), of Internal Affairs, who starts an investigation against Ludlow.

Washington's death and finding the criminals responsible

Upset at Washington for "snitching", Ludlow follows him to a convenience store to confront him. However, Washington is killed by two gangbangers in the store in an apparent robbery, with Ludlow present. Though Ludlow is innocent, the circumstances can heavily implicate him in the murder, which was also known as "wrong place, wrong time". There was a surveillance tape from the store that clearly identifies Ludlow; Wander almost confiscates the tape in an attempt to protect Ludlow but he hides it in his pocket. The DNA of two criminals known as Fremont and Coates is found at the scene, as well as cash and drugs in Washington's possession. It is assumed that Washington himself was corrupt, despite his seemingly changed attitude, and that he had been stealing drugs from the department's evidence room and selling them to Fremont and Coates. Ludlow teams up with Detective I Paul "Disco" Diskant (Chris Evans), who has been assigned to the case to join him in his personal investigation. Their search for the two involves some tough interrogation of other criminals including Winston (Cedric the Entertainer), which eventually leads them to a house in the hills where they discover the bodies of the real Fremont and Coates buried in shallow grave. The condition of the bodies makes it apparent that they were killed well before Washington's murder.

The gun fight against Washington's killers and the truth about them

Ludlow and Disco, assisted by Winston, go undercover as dirty cops who are willing to take over Washington's role of stealing and selling drugs. Winston sets up a meeting with the two criminals (Cle Shaheed Sloan and Common) who are actually posing as Fremont and Coates, and they are revealed to be the two gangbangers who killed Washington. However, the meeting goes bad when the two criminals recognize Ludlow from the store where Washington was killed before Disco recognizes them. Disco attempts to pull out his weapon but is shot in the throat by Coates, Ludlow then has enough time to jump behind the couch for cover, Fremont then attempts to persuade Winston to kill Ludlow. Winston refuses and he is killed by Fremont, who is revealed to be known as LeShauwn. Ludlow manages to avenge Washington's murder by killing both Fremont and Coates before he is forced to watch Disco die. Ludlow then escapes back to his girlfriend's house where a news report reveals the criminals Ludlow killed were also two ex-undercover deputy sheriffs who had lost objectivity, although they are only mentioned as two undercover deputy sheriffs.

Learning the truth about Ludlow's unit

Shortly afterward, Ludlow is taken from his girlfriend's house by Detective Cosmo Santos (Amaury Nolasco) and Detective Dante Demille (John Corbett), two fellow officers from his unit who are supposedly sent from Wander to protect Ludlow again. However, in the car, they admit that it was they who planted Fremont and Coates' DNA, the cash, and the drugs at the scene of Washington's murder, to prevent him from testifying against them in Biggs' investigation. Ludlow figures out that Washington has been giving up dirt on Wander's entire unit, and that he himself has been a pawn in a plan masterminded by Captain Wander to silence Washington. It is revealed that Dante and Santos were actually the ones who were stealing drugs from the department's evidence room and selling them to the two criminals who killed Washington, Disco and Winston (though it was not mentioned). Santos and Demille take Ludlow out to the house where the real Fremont and Coates' bodies were found earlier for execution. However, Ludlow manages to kill both of them. He then heads to Washington's house to take care of the unit supervisor, Sergeant Mike Clady (Jay Mohr). Ludlow had previously obtained the tape from the convenience store and given it to Linda (Naomie Harris), Washington's wife. Clady has stolen the tape of Washingston's murder from his Linda, and is trying to rape her. However, Ludlow manages to rescue Linda and capture Clady, whom he places in the trunk of his car. Linda goes back to packing her things and moving out of her and Washington's house; they had been planning to move since Washington had gone clean.

Truth revealed before Ludlow finally ends the corruption

Ludlow shows up at Wander's house to confront him, using Clady's cell phone to prove that it was Wander who ordered the hit on Washington. Wander then reveals that he has incriminating evidence on most people in the department, as well as judges, councilmen, and politicians. With so many people in Wander's pocket, he has been able to quickly move up the department's ranks as well as protect his department from legal prosecution. Wander tries to convince Ludlow that he is his friend and best officer, and tries to bribe him with a large amount of stolen money and incriminating documents hidden in a wall of his home. Ludlow finally kills Wander, ending the corruption.

Captain Biggs and Sergeant Green, who were "investigating" Ludlow, arrive at the scene, and Biggs reveals that they used Ludlow to bring down Wander by opening Ludlow's eyes to the corruption going on within his unit. As he leaves, Biggs tells Ludlow that the department does indeed need men like him; officers who are willing to bend the rules, but are ultimately honest at heart.



In 2004, it was announced that Spike Lee would be directing the film for a 2005 release.[1] In 2005, it was announced that Oliver Stone was in talks to direct the film.[2] However, Stone later denied this.[3] Training Day screenwriter David Ayer took over the project.

On February 5, 2008, it was announced that Fox Searchlight Pictures changed the film's title from The Night Watchman to Street Kings.[4]

Critical reception

Street Kings received mixed reviews from critics. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 55 out of 100, based on 28 reviews.[5] Many viewers praised the film for its numerous plot twists. On the other hand, Rotten Tomatoes's Tomatometer gave a 37% for the film, with their consensus saying 'Street Kings contains formulaic violence but no shred of intelligence'.

Box office performance

In its opening weekend, the film grossed an estimated $12 million in 2,467 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking 2 at the box office. The movie as of August 1, 2008 has made $26,418,667 domestically and $35,347,445 in foreign box offices totaling $62,973,667 in total worldwide sales, making it a financial success.[6]

DVD release

The DVD was released on August 19, 2008 in a single disc with director commentary and special-edition 2 disc set with numerous documentaries, interviews and digital copy of the film. It is also available on Blu-ray with all the special features of the 2 disc version.


External links


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