Eager to please, but it’s so lacking in real-world skate politics that it more resembles the chugging PG-13 mediocrity of Top 40 pop-punk-lite than the hard-core Black Flagisms of Peralta’s scathingly real doc.
Surely something more original than this could have been mined from the history of North America’s largest and most professional police force. As it is, though, Johnson’s film is just firing blanks.
Torpedoed by its own overarching idealism -- the film targets the new star system, the media, the studios, digital technology, and pretty much everything else you might care to think of -- and not enough script to back it all up.
Jawbreaker has all the heart and soul of last week's mystery loaf (a dish that made the weekly rounds at my alma mater, sadly). And like that unidentifiable bovine by-product, the film is a chilly, messy anti-treat, sweet on the outside, sickly on the in.
Like rocky road ice cream, The Rundown is chunky stuff, full of calories and easy to take in small doses. Also like rocky road, it’s bound to attract flies if you leave it lying around, and, more to the point, too much of it is likely to make you gag.
Possibly one of the dullest takes on a real-life murder mystery, this gutter’s-eye-view of the waning days of Los Angeles porn king John "Johnny Wadd" Holmes is barely as interesting as one of the big man’s films, and a lot less revelatory.
The script, written by the three brothers, is ludicrous and incomprehensible, and plays cat-and-mouse games with what could have been some deeply funny comments on race, wealth, and, in one inspired changing-room scene, eating disorders.
Saw has its moments, and most of them are brutal in the extreme, but ultimately it's one tremendous misfire that will either leave you laughing or, possibly, gagging. Not what I'd call a winning combination.