Case Number 21278


Fox // 2011 // 92 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 4th, 2011

The Charge

Intense. Explosive. Unrated.

Opening Statement

If you say so.

Facts of the Case

When members of an elite Detroit undercover drug strike team start getting picked off one by one, the squad's commander, Marty Kingston (Ray Liotta, Youth in Revolt), teams up with Detective Dan Sullivan (Shawn Hatosy, Public Enemies), the young homicide detective tasked with investigating the killings. After the mandatory wiener-measuring contest, the two agree to work together and begin digging into the truth.

That truth happens to facing Sullivan square in the face, but he's a dolt, so the movie rolls on for another 45 minutes or so.

The Evidence

I have a very faint recollection of the first Street Kings, an okay Keanu Reeves vehicle that I actually reviewed but of which I am struggling to summon a coherent memory. I see I gave it an 80, so we'll just stick with the fact that I sort of liked it and move on. Not that you will have needed to see the first film to enjoy the follow-up; Street Kings 2 is merely an unattached installment in "the Street Kings franchise." (If Undisputed can have a franchise, why can't Street Kings?)

On its face, Motor City is a stylish, foul-mouthed, suitably-violent urban crime tale. You've got all the boxes checked: a corrupt batch of cops; a wide-eyed, idealistic new kid; a crusty, crotchety old cop who thinks the new kid is too wide-eyed and idealistic; some salty criminal types who hang around in badly-lit strip bars, and a pregnant wife.

Well, you can take comfort in the fact that all those clichés are implemented as they should be in a formulaic plot, which hinges on one gigantic contrivance: the complete and utter ineptitude of Detective Dan Sullivan as a criminal investigator. I'll tread softly with the spoilers, though it's an action that isn't necessary if you've seen any movie before; you'll have much of the twists nailed down right away. Potential amusement arrives in the form of watching Sullivan wriggling away with his Fisher-Price My First CSI Kit, attempting to unravel a mystery that has a glaringly obvious solution.

Even watching the events unfold proves to be unrewarding, not only because of the suspense vacuum -- the dialogue is made up almost entirely of clumsy cop-speak and the acting is shaky. Sullivan suffers again; he's dumb, but also an annoying twerp.

The Blu-ray is the way to go if you must tune in, thanks to a glorious 1.78:1, 1080p (AVC encoded @19 MBPS) widescreen. Director Chris Fisher has an eye for style and he packs his film with creative shots and edits and the HD rendering is top-shelf. Detailing and colors pop off the screen. A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio pushes the sound well, delivering and crisp and well-mapped mix throughout. Extras: deleted scenes, four making-of featurettes looking at the venue, the opening, the story and the scene set-ups and a Blu-ray exclusive "Weapons Personality Profile," which matches up sidearms with your personality -- in other words, it's a waste of your valuable time.

Closing Statement

I don't know who clamored for a sequel, but I can't imagine even one person would be loving this mediocre crime outing. Oh well, at least Detroit got some jobs.

The Verdict

Feel free to abdicate any time.

Review content copyright © 2011 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 95
Audio: 90
Extras: 80
Acting: 65
Story: 55
Judgment: 64

Perp Profile
Studio: Fox
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)

* English (SDH)
* French
* Spanish

Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Deleted Scenes
* Featurettes
* Weapons Quiz

* IMDb