Moviedrome Redux: ‘Colors’ (1988)

❉ An explosive, extremely violent movie, never stopping to pull any punches.

“Dennis Hopper’s gritty cop movie is precisely the sort of film that I would pay to see on the big screen, as opposed to another tired, CGI-infested remake or bloated sequel.”

Dennis Hopper’s gritty cop movie Colors, released in 1988 to critical acclaim and strong box office, is precisely the sort of film not being made today and precisely the sort of film that I would pay to see on the big screen, as opposed to another tired, CGI-infested remake or bloated sequel.

Featuring a live-wire Sean Penn and an extra-sage Robert Duvall as down and dirty Los Angeles cops taking on some of the worst of the worst, this is an explosive, extremely violent movie with a strong screenplay by Michael Schiffer (Crimson Tide, Lean on Me), and evocative, stylish lensing by legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler.

Examining the intense rivalry between the Bloods and the Crips and never stopping to pull any punches, Schiffer’s sharp script and Hopper’s attuned direction really demonstrated a true sense of authenticity, with the various sequences detailing gang life feeling all too believable and more than a tad sad and scary.

There’s also a fabulous supporting cast peppered with familiar faces and character actors from the day, including Don Cheadle, Glenn Plummer, Grand Bush, Trinidad Silva, Randy Brooks, Damon Wayans, and Mario Lopez. Oh, and massive Maria Conchito Alonso POWER, too.

For some reason, studios decided to stop making policiers, which have found their true home on television, but I am always down for a cinematic cop and crime story, and this is definitely one of the better genre entries I can think of.

The period-appropriate and extremely lively soundtrack seals the deal while Robert Estrin’s tight editing keeps a crackling pace. Available on DVD, this one really deserves an American release Special Edition Blu-ray, as I gather there’s a UK blu available for those across the pond or living REGION FREE POWER


❉ Nick Clement is a freelance writer, having contributed to Variety Magazine, Hollywood- Elsewhere, Awards Daily, Back to the Movies, and Taste of Cinema. He’s currently writing a book about the works of filmmaker Tony Scott, and co-operates the website Podcasting Them Softly.

❉ He is also a regular contributor for MovieViral.com, a site dedicated to providing the best news and analysis on viral marketing and ARG campaigns for films and other forms of entertainment.

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