There is nothing Hollyweird loves better than bastardising historical events. Take Rampart for example. But first the historical context.
Rampart is a street, it is a neighborhood, it is a police district, It was also a scandal in the 1990’s when widespread corruption was discovered in Los Angeles Police Department’s Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums team.(CRASH).
Officers from Rampart Division CRASH were implicated in widespread corruption, which included unprovoked shootings, beatings, drug dealing, and a wide raft of other crimes, including perjury and the covering up of evidence. More than 70 officers were implicated and three of those were found to be in the direct employ of Hip-Hop mogul “Suge” Knight of Death Row Records a convicted felon with ties to the infamous Bloods street gang.
The implications of the scandal were widespread. The cost to the City of Los Angeles $125 million in settlements.
Fast forward to the present day, and the Hollywood take on Rampart written by crime writing legend and Crimezine Favorite James “Devil Dog” Ellroy and Oren Moverman. The movie focuses on the Harrelson Character, an LAPD officer nicknamed ‘date rape’ who is investigated by Internal Affairs for the extra judicial killing of a serial rapist. The movie examines the officers disintegrating family life, including his ex’s played by Cynthia Nixon & Anne Heche, and his children, particularly his elder daughter played by Brie Larson.
So rather than a blow by blow break down of the actual Rampart scandal, we get a movie that focuses on the family and the emotional vacuity of a damaged individual. Nothing wrong with that, in fact it is commendable that Moverman had the creative vision to tackle emotive subject matter in such an original way.
Witness Moverman’s previous film with Harrelson 2009’s The Messanger to realise emotive is what he does best.
But please, give Crimeziners some credit Mr M. if we buy a steak dinner, we expect Meat Potatoes and Gravy. We do not expect it to contain 90% vegetables. In a similar way if we buy a film called Rampart, that purports to contain Devil Dog in the ingredients, we expect Verismilitude and bad cops doing bad things like only bad cops can do, you dig?