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From Good Cop to Bad Cop: Keanu as LAPD officers in Speed (1994) and Street Kings (2008) by tanata

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· @tanata ·
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From Good Cop to Bad Cop: Keanu as LAPD officers in Speed (1994) and Street Kings (2008)
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<p>Speed was the $350 million dollar hit that officially launched Keanu into bona fide action superstardom. I have to admit, I did not like this film at first. I thought it was a genuinely bad film; flimsy plot that did not make much sense, poor character development, cheesy script, and things just blew up for no reason, all the time. But hey, that’s what a Hollywood action films are all about, right?</p>
<p><img src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Npz_xVIgoRE/maxresdefault.jpg" width="1168" height="900"/></p>
<p><em>A still from Speed (1994)</em></p>
<p>&nbsp;In the same vein, I did not like Street Kings either at first; a bit predictable, contrived script, and again, poor character development despite an all star cast. However, upon watching both films multiples of times (more Speed than Street Kings, due to its dark, gritty look and feel that makes it too heavy for me watch it too many times), I have decided that they are worth writing about just for the interesting fact that Keanu portrays LAPD officers in both films in such different ways.</p>
<p><img src="https://thedullwoodexperiment.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/speed-scene.jpg" width="1920" height="1080"/></p>
<p><em>A still from Speed (1994)</em></p>
<p>In Speed, Keanu plays &nbsp;Jack Traven, an LAPD SWAT officer. He is a good, simple, clean cut guy out there to save lives. Keanu shaved his head for the role, which I heard scared the director and producers of the film, but it really worked on him. He is tanned, toned, and oh so beautifully noble in this film, doing whatever it takes to save groups of innocent Los Angelenos from the threats of a vengeful, money hungry domestic terrorist (played by Dennis Hopper). I think so many fell in love with Keanu at first sight from this movie!! Also the real life friendship and on screen chemistry between Keanu and Sandra Bullock started in this film, which keeps people guessing about whether there ever was, or will be a thing between them. They do make an awfully cute couple!</p>
<p><img src="https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ba/42/ae/ba42ae67102cf10a32c0d67168e9a7cd.jpg" width="1080" height="1080"/></p>
<p><em>Awww so cute! Sandra and Keanu</em></p>
<p>Keanu was the most uncomplicated good cop in Speed; but 14 years later, he became the most complicated bad cop in Street Kings. Here, Keanu plays Tom Ludlow, an LAPD &nbsp;vice detective with a raging alcohol problem and a death wish, caused by the really fucked up death of his wife some years ago. Oh, and he is also a dirty, dirty cop who has absolutely no regard for the constitutional rights of individuals. You see, there is a little thing in the U.S. Constitution called the Bill of Rights, that prevents policemen from entering your house and conducting searches without a proper warrant, etc. &nbsp;However, Ludlow has no qualms about busting into people’s houses, planting evidence, beating and torturing suspects into confessing/squealing/giving him information he wants, and killing people he knows to be guilty. Basically, instead of letting the criminal justice system do its job, he would rather take justice into his own hands and dole out the punishment himself. “Gunfighters” was a moniker that he and his partner gained for themselves, while working the roughest neighborhoods in LA &nbsp;at the beginning of their careers.</p>
<p><img src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMTYxNjA3OTI2Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjMxNjM5NA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1494,1000_AL_.jpg" width="1494" height="1000"/></p>
<p><em>A still from Street Kings (2008)</em></p>
<p>I imagine that Jack Traven was a relatively easy character for Keanu to play, simply because Keanu IS a good guy in real life who wants to do good all the time. That’s his natural inclination. There were some incredibly physical stunts that he performed himself (there is one where he jumps from a car into a bus while both were being driven at fifty miles per hour, which made me yell ‘ouch’ just watching him), and he had to live at the gym for two months to get in shape for the film, but those are kinds of things that he does for any action movie he is in. As I have mentioned in my other posts, Keanu is the most dedicated actor in Hollywood.</p>
<p><img src="https://image.ibb.co/i6Drya/street_kings_movie_image_keanu_reeves_l.jpg" width="3872" height="2592"/></p>
<p><em>Keanu in blue, in Street Kings (2008)</em></p>
<p>But Tom Ludlow? This character was dark, conflicted and complex. Did Ludlow believe that he was doing the right thing? Probably. That’s why he did them. However, he couldn’t sleep at night. He chugged vodka all day. This is perhaps, on an unconscious level, he was struggling with the choices that he made and had to numb himself from the guilt, shame, and the pain. Portraying such a character must have taken a lot for Keanu, to reach into the deepest, darkest depths of himself to pull out such an emotionally charged performance. He did it well, even though in some scenes, he was a bit wooden (this is a common complaint from Keanu naysayers).</p>
<p><img src="https://image.ibb.co/g1dida/20.jpg" width="1000" height="667"/></p>
<p><em>Keanu wounded, from Street Kings (2008)</em></p>
<p>In the end, what it comes down to is that Ludlow is a survivor, and Keanu is also one. Keanu has been through hell and back… Abandonment by his father, death of his best friend (River Phoenix, who died during the filming of Speed), his sister getting leukemia, the stillbirth of his daughter and later the accident/suicide of his girlfriend, critical and commercial failures of many of his films. Channeling these dark moments of his life, I imagine, must have been necessary for Keanu to play Ludlow. There is one scene in Street Kings where Ludlow is facing what appears to be inevitable death. Does he lay there and take it? Hell, no. He fuckin’ fights tooth and nail, crawling and clawing his way out of the situation by a miraculous hair. &nbsp;As gut wrenching as it was to watch, this was my favorite scene in the movie and it showed me what kind of a character Ludlow was. I think this is the kind of determination that Keanu has in his life and everyone should take after as well.</p>
<p><img src="https://image.ibb.co/naDida/street_kings_premiere_55.jpg" width="1222" height="817"/></p>
<p><em>Street Kings Premiere with Keanu, Forest, and Chris</em></p>
<p>However, I did not like that such great actors as Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, and Chris Evans were underutilized in Street Kings and their talents were boxed in by such a poor script that had limited character development. What were their motivations for their actions? What were their back grounds? It was not clear. I think the filmmakers could have done a better job on that end.</p>
<p>In conclusion, I would say watch Speed if you want a fun ride that won’t addle you with moralistic dilemmas like Street Kings. Street Kings will leave you wondering, was that really the ending? Is that right? No, that’s so wrong… But maybe it is the right thing. Hmmm… LOL.</p>
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vote your-acct "tanata" "from-good-cop-to-bad-cop-keanu-as-lapd-officers-in-speed-1994-and-street-kings-2008" 100 true
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@minnowpond1 ·
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@tanata ·
thanks!
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