Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ellroy Outing Splashes Blood, Violence On Screen

Rampart," with story and screenplay by James Ellroy, features Woody Harrelson as a dirty cop, Dave "Date Rape Dave" Brown, balancing a home life with two ex-wives as he becomes embroiled in the Los Angeles Police Department's infamous Rampart corruption scandal.

The Rampart scandal refers to widespread corruption in the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (or CRASH) anti-gang unit of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Rampart Division in the late 1990s. More than 70 police officers in the CRASH unit were charged with misconduct, making it one of the most widespread cases of documented police misconduct in United States history. The convicted offenses include unprovoked shootings, unprovoked beatings, planting of evidence, framing of suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury, and covering up evidence of these activities.

Word has it that "Rampart" is the most authentic of all Ellroy screen adaptations, in that it encompasses more of the bloody, brutal, vulgar world that his novels encapsulate. That's not to say it's smooth going all the way. It's reputed to be a bit of a mess, especially the last half hour.

Sounds like an A+ in atmosphere, and a "needs improvement" in screenwriting dexterity.

I'll go with the high-atmosphere admirers and check it out ASAP.

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