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“The Rookie” - {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Taylor Carlson
Studio: Warner Bros
Genre:
Drama
Release Date:
6/1/10
Special Features:

Trailer

Review:

The Rookie is directed by Clint Eastwood. The film stars Clint Eastwood, Charlie Sheen, Raul Julia, and Tom Skerritt. ***

David Ackerman, A young man (Sheen) from a well-to-do family has joined the police force, against the better wishes of his father (Skerritt), and is paired up with a Nick Pulovski, a crotchety veteran of the force (Eastwood), who had a past racing career - and who is out to take down a crime lord in the chop-shop business (Julia) that killed his old partner. Despite the twosome being reassigned in their duties, they decide to go after this criminal group - and things take a turn for the worst when Pulovski is taken prisoner following a rookie blunder on Ackerman's part. It is up to Ackerman to wage war against this criminal empire himself - and save his partner. ***

The Rookie tends to be one of the forgotten chapters in Clint Eastwood's directorial and acting careers alike. While it isn't a bad piece of entertainment, watching it for the first time showed me just why it has never been one of his more respected efforts. ***

The problem here is simple - Eastwood couldn't decide if he wanted to do a “buddy cop” movie or a hardened police drama. The end result here is a half-assed compromise on both fronts. It lacks the depth and characterization to be a solid drama, and at the same time lacks any real chemistry or personality to get the buddy cop thing going. The characters are flat and one-dimensional, and there is no genuine emotion or drama on display here. ***

Too often the film tries to compensate for its lack of depth - and fails terribly every time. We see two scenes of Ackerman's brother dying in an accident as a child, and some brief talk that Pulovski used to race. Yes, that's about it for the character development we get in the movie. All the actors seem bored. Raul Julia, who was usually a great actor, seems uninterested in playing the main villain. He's also supposedly playing a German, which is a terrible writing decision when you consider he looks and sounds nothing like one. Eastwood more-or-less just plays a rehash of Dirty Harry who is a lot less fun to spend 2 hours with. ***

It's a shame Eastwood couldn't decide which way to go with this material. If it were a buddy cop movie, Sheen would have been great. Instead, he is thrown into semi-dramatic material that clearly isn't where he belongs. The guy is a great COMEDY actor, but he is tragically miscast here in a part that, well, I don't think a better actor could have saved. And did I mention this dull, flat mess of a movie runs for 2 WHOLE HOURS? ***

This forgotten title in the Eastwood back catalogue might as well stay forgotten. Is it a bad movie? In many ways yes. But if nothing else, it makes an interesting weekend rental for the curious. ---

Image And Sound:

The transfer of the film isn't half bad, though it definitely isn't up there with the best of Blu either. The level of detail and vibrancy of colors is a nice step up from the old SD disc. However, throughout the image tends to be a bit on the soft side, and there is still some dirt and print damage to speak of. However, for a back-catalogue title that clearly didn't get a full-blown restoration, it doesn't look half bad. Just don't expect to be blown away. ***

Audio gets an upgrade to lossless, and while this track isn't going to rock your speakers like a more-recent film, there are some scenes here and there that really bring the track to life - namely those where gunshots or explosions or involved, although there are a few other highlights as well. The movie sounds just fine, with all dialogue, music, and sound audible and clear. No major complaints here.

Special Features:

The theatrical trailer and nothing more.

Final Words:

At best I can only recommend this movie as a rental - and only for those who are die-hard Eastwood fans that want to see every film he ever did. This movie was lackluster when it came out, and time has not been kind to it. The Blu-Ray features good picture and audio quality, but lacks supplements, and even decent disc quality can't redeem the film. So rent, don't buy.

 

 
 
 
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