COLORS. 1988

Director: Dennis Hopper

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

A cop near retirement (Robert Duvall) is sent out into the streets of East L.A. with a rookie (Sean Penn), where the rivalries between the Crypts & the Bloods makes every encounter risky, a situation not improved by having a swaggering rookie in tow who refuses to believe he has a lot to learn.

Colors directed by Dennis Hopper was so gritty in its day. But except for the mo-fo cursing, mere television cop shows have caught up with & surpassed this simplistic old-hat story by no means the equal of such films as Boyz N the Hood or New Jack City which seem likely to have been inspired in part by Colors.

The excellent rap sound track (featuring Ice T) was in 1988 not yet the sortg of thing that was to become de rigour for gritty street stories. But even that historically significant musical choice is today standard. The actors are still great, but by now this story is just way too familiar, following a simple plot-line to a predictable conclusion.

To great extent this is a white man's story about white men cruising in their police car through black neighborhoods. The increasingly daring films it either presaged or inspired were better because so much more authentically by & about people intimately familiar with the life & choices available in the ghetto.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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