Director Brad Furman mixes action scenes and quiet moments when Russell Pole (Johnny Depp and Jack Jackson (Forest Whitaker) discuss the eighteen year old case and its ramifications. But overall the plot appears to move more slowly than needed.
The story is presented as an investigation of the murders of rappers Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur. It actually is mostly about Detective Pole and questionable functioning in the LA police department around this case and others.
The plot is simple but the presentation by director Brad Furman is confusing. Very often we are introduced to new characters who stumble into the investigation but are not part of the main subject matter. Overall however the LA police department appear as unwilling to push for a solution to the murders. The film is not a positive review of LA’s finest.
Poole spent 18 years working the case, probably between doing other cases as part of his job, but frustration eventually forced him to quit.
Jackson (Whitaker) is nearly as compelled by the crime as he works to write the complete story of what happened while he works with Poole. Supervisors in both cases put the breaks on their determination.
We are not sure if police were part of the murders, or if there is an attitude allowing the crime to go by the boards because the two dead men were rappers, probably gangsters and are men of color.
The performances by Deep and Whitaker are impressive and worth watching, they keep our attention but the presentation is confusing and frustrating even when it is real. Eventually we learn there is no end, no completion and that is unsatisfying.