As many critics will be obliged to assert, Dark Blue, the new film from director Ron Shelton, is not a sports movie--not by a longshot. It’s a disparaging cop thriller set on the eve of the 1992 L.A. race riots (which a cynic could remark was a contact sport of its own) that plays out like a rancid combination of Training Day and the white-washed elements of L.A. Confidential. This is no coincidence considering that the film’s screenwriter is Training Day scribe David Ayer, whose script is based on a story by Confidential author James Ellroy. More surprising is that Shelton, whose sports-themed films like Bull Durham, White Men Can’t Jump and Tin Cup have a flair for characterization and human nature beyond their immediate stories involving courts and diamonds and greens (Blaze, one of his best comedies, has nary a pass or putt in it), fails to come up with a movie that is more than a slick, clueless package of foul professionalism.
See slantmagazine.com for full review.