- 2 hr
This two-hour movie offers an interesting look at the culture of two gangs, the Crips and the Bloods, based on the colors they wear. These colors, which are blue and red, identify the gangs respectively. Furthermore, it shows the difficulties that a rookie cop and his more experienced partner have in keeping gang activity under control. The Mexican gang Surenos plays a role in the movie also. The star of the movie is Robert Duvall as Mike Hodges, a veteran police officer chosen to show the ropes to a rookie partner, Danny McGavin, played by Sean Penn. Both officers are affiliated with CRASH, the gang-control unit of the LAPD. Maria Conchita Alonso plays Louisa Gomez, McGavin's girlfriend, whose relationship is compromised by the antics of her cop boyfriend. Little known at the time, actor Mario Lopez portrayed a gang member, as did rapper Gerardo and comedian Damon Wayans. This movie was directed by actor Dennis Hopper. This movie created controversy because of its portrayal of gang life and its violence, in light of the fact that more than 200 gang members were killed in 1987, the year the movie was filmed. To add to the realism, real-life gang members were hired as actors and also to offer protection during the shooting of the film. The focus of the storyline became the life and times of gang members as well as the intertwining issues between the three gangs. The musical soundtrack contains hip hop music, a nascent form of music at the time, along with a score by musician Herbie Hancock, which adds to the personality of the movie. The screenplay was by Michael Schiffer, and the original story was penned by both Michael Schiffer and Richard DiLello. It created awareness of gang issues and how the police went about curtailing gang activity.