City of Lies
review by Bobby Blakey
The murders of both Tupac and Biggie Smalls are still the most talked about unsolved cases. Over the years there have been numerous TV shows, documentaries and films that touch on the subject of both. The latest film taking on the Biggie Smalls murder is City of Lies starring Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker. This film was pulled from its original release back in 2018 assumingly due to Depp’s issues at the time, but finally it is being released. Could this film bring something new to this case or will it be fail to solve its mystery?
City of Lies follows L.A.P.D. detective Russell Poole who has spent years trying to solve his biggest case, but after two decades, the investigation remains open. "Jack" Jackson, a reporter desperate to save his reputation and career, is determined to find out why. In search of the truth, the two team up and unravel a growing web of institutional corruption and lies. Relentless in their hunt, these two determined men threaten to uncover the conspiracy and crack the foundation of the L.A.P.D. and an entire city.
My love of all things hip hop and being a big fan of Depp for years had me eager to see this film since the first trailer dropped years ago. I thought we were never going to get to see it so you can understand my excitement now that it is finally released. Knowing that this case hasn’t been solved to this day you have to know that there isn’t really an ending to the case side of this film, but thanks to a compelling story and look into the investigation it still makes for a good movie.
Once again Depp gives a great duel performance playing the obsessed detective on the case and the beaten man in his later years still determined to solve. This gives an interesting perspective to Poole’s journey and how it affected him right up until the very end. The always great Forest Whitaker is great here to as Jackson and brings that clear determination to get to the truth of the story. These two are great together with their story not only focusing on the mystery of
this case, but also a journey of these two men finding themselves in all of this.
This isn’t an action movie despite there being a couple of moments, but instead a straight up crime mystery. This film takes you inside the case and the mind of the detective trying to solve it despite the road blocks and corruption all around. If anything it showcases more to anger you about how so much corruption within the police force hinders these cases.
It’s a shame this film has gotten lost in the shuffle between the controversy and pandemic, but I am glad it has finally gotten a release of some sort. I really enjoyed this and hope that it finds the audience it deserves because it is a good throwback style cop thriller that is worth checking out.
In addition to the film this release offer sup bonus content including commentary, deleted scenes and a behind the scenes featurette. Join in on one of the most famous modern day unsolved cases when City of Lies available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Saban Films.