Dirty follows Officer Sancho (Clifton Collins Jr.) through a day in which all he is supposed to do is go to IA over a shooting incident he was involved in. His partner Salim (Cuba Gooding Jr.) gets him involved in an illegal scheme to get close to higher ups in the department. Sancho soon finds himself in over his head with stolen drugs and several people out to kill him and his partner.
So from that description, the box cover, and everything else you get the clear impression this is a quick cash in on the success of Training Day. One of the responses from people when I mention this movie is “Cuba is playing the Denzel Training Day role!? Really?” While I certainly admit he’s not playing his usual type with this role, I was at least more hopeful about this movie. I mean, I’d rather want a Cuba who is at least trying than some of his other DTV crap like The Devil’s Tomb where he is almost sleepwalking through it. There I go with that ‘hope’ thing again.
Dirty is so incompetent and over the top I was laughing quite a bit throughout. There is no subtlety to anything in this movie. Salim is not just a bent cop, he might as well be tying women to railroad tracks and bombing orphanages while twirling a mustache. In five minutes alone he sexually assaults a woman on a public beach in broad daylight, all the while screeching the N word at anyone within earshot, then goes back to his patrol vehicle where he guzzles from a gallon size bottle of vodka. He gets into several shoot outs over stolen drugs he took from the evidence locker, then gets in his car to go to IA with a bullet wound in his leg wrapped up in duct tape.
Why does he do this? There is a vague promise of getting in good with the dirty captain and whatnot but what it boils down to is a pair of playoff tickets. Yup, playoff tickets. I was absolutely laughing my ass off when Salim, after going through hell and is going to IA, the Sergeant takes back the playoff tickets since he won’t be using them stuck in IA. It’s like, not only is this guy evil, but he is a Lumberg from Office Space type douchebag who will take back gifts. What an asshole.
Cuba Gooding Jr. is hilariously miscast in this role. He tries to do the “King Kong ain’t got shit on me” act but he just can’t pull it off. He tries by using every racial epithet and curse word and is screaming to the rafters and yet he still carries about as much menace as Meg Ryan. Now I know Cuba has cultivated a persona of an action hero. And while I normally buy him as a soldier or a hit man, I just don’t get the fear of god dread from his act. Someone like Clint Eastwood in his 80’s can still say “You every meet someone you know you just shouldn’t have fucked with *spit * That’s me.” and people would still be nervous. With Cuba I still think he should be driving an ice cream truck with Skeet Ulrich.
Obviously this movie doesn’t work on its own terms. Every character is irredeemable from the start so we don’t care what happens to them. The writing is so heavy handed and over the top and the plot gets downright confusing with unnecessary double and triple crosses. And despite my laughing at the insanity of it all, I was missing some action scenes. I mean there are some minor shoot outs but in a movie so crazy in every other department, why are they shirking on the violence and nudity? You should at least strive to be more outrageous than the movie you are trying to rip off.
I really don’t know how to adequately sum up here. Obviously for most of you out there don’t watch this. It is a terrible movie. What I am more struggling with is if bad movie aficionados should watch it either. Like I said, I was laughing pretty consistently at the terrible writing and the over the top acting. But that being said, it feels like it is missing out on the action or the gross excess that would make this a must see bad movie. Ultimately I think with all its lacking, plus the fact every character is so patently unlikable, that I can’t even recommend Dirty in that regard either. But at the very least, it is more interesting than The Devil’s Tomb.