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Movie Reviews

In Too Deep  

Jeffrey Cole (Omar Epps)
God (LL Cool J)
Preston D'Ambrisio (Stanley Tucci)
Myra (Nia Long)

Directed by Michael Rymer Written by Paul Aaron and Michael Henry Brown Rated R for strong sensuality, language, violence, drug content, and brief nudity Running Time: 106 minutes Distributed by Dimension

In Too Deep is a sufficient film about sacrifice, obligation, and truth. Police detective Jeffrey Cole (Epps) is going undercover on a dangerous assignment that could cost him everything. His job is to get hard evidence to convict and bring down God (LL Cool J), a gangster that is involved in 80% of the city's crime. Cole becomes entangled as a gangster for so long that he becomes a totally different person. His boss, Preston (Tucci), wants to now pull him out, and his girlfriend Myra (Long) wants it all to stop. However, Cole wants to finish his mission of putting God in jail, but he might lose his mind and life in doing so.

In Too Deep is a character sketch film inspired by true events that really shows the pressures and sorrows of working undercover. This film reminded me a lot of New Jack City, a similar but different film. However, In Too Deep focuses more on the victim (Cole) in the field of undercover work.

The script does fall into a cliché of some films that I have seen before, like Donnie Brasco and, as I said earlier, New Jack City. I do, however, think that the script for In Too Deep clicked well. There is only aspect that I wanted to see more in the film. The amount of time Cole spends undercover is hard to predict because the film moves so fast. I would have like to have seen more scenes of him undercover in order to get a feel of the length of time he was working with God. Otherwise, the script is pretty well written.

In Too Deep has good acting and bad acting. I don't believe that Omar Epps was not a good choice for the role of Cole because Epps is not believable at all as the cocky, hard-nosed, and fearless undercover detective. His acting is the only really bad thing in this film. Taye Diggs (How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Go) would have been a much better choice for the role. On the other hand, the performance by LL Cool J is terrific. He portrays a sick and scary character that will remind us of how powerful gangsters think they are. LL Cool J's acting just keeps getting better and better. He was the scene-stealer in Halloween: H20, Deep Blue Sea, and now in In Too Deep. He delivers a great range of depth with his character, God. Stanley Tucci also gives a cool and admirable performance as Preston, Cole's commanding officer.

In Too Deep is not a film that it seems to be. Although some people might believe that In Too Deep is an action thriller, it's not. In Too Deep is really a character-driven drama. It is about one person's sacrifices and strength to bring criminals to justice in America. Many people might also think it is an all out gangster or urban film from the advertisements and trailers, but it is not. It is an established and driven drama. I don't believe this film will be a blockbuster, but I think it will be a modest hit with adult audiences. Besides the lousy performance by Omar Epps, this film is very potent and efficient.

Report Card Grade: B-

Beastman's Movie Reviews
Copyright, 1999 Joseph C. Tucker

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