Considering the stock quality of the insights that the cop drama Dirty has to offer us about Los Angeles (e.g., "This fucking city, I never could make sense of it"), it could easily have been shot in Vancouver without any sacrifice in verisimilitude. If writer-director Chris Fisher, a Southern California native, insisted on staying local, he might at least have saved some money by renting that backlot used for a downtown intersection in Crash. No less than Crash or Training Day, its more obvious model, this post-Rampart study of LAPD corruption takes place in a movie-set Los Angeles where people bellow didactically about race. Cuba Gooding Jr. and Clifton Collins Jr. (excellent as Perry Smith in Capote) habitually rise above their clichéd roles as shady narc partnersa "nigger" and a "bean"dreading their 6 p.m. appointment with internal affairs. But Fisher, who has a penchant for area serial killers (The Nightstalker and the forthcoming Rampage: The Hillside Strangler Murders), appears fixated on Los Angeles as a nihilistic phantasmagoria. For all its nominal grit, Dirty lamentably has more in common with L.A. Story than Boyz n the Hood.
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