With his strong jaw, boyish charm and confident swagger, Kurt Russell epitomised the typical leading man in the 1980s. Men wanted to be him, women wanted to be with him. However, beneath that boyish smile and bad-boy persona there was an actor who never really got the credit he deserved. Russell starred in some of the most iconic films of the decade, including The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China and Escape From New York. He followed those with memorable performances in Backdraft and Tombstone, but as we entered a new century his fortunes waned. In Ron Shelton’s 2002 film Dark Blue he gets to demonstrate his acting chops whilst delivering a typically verbose performance.
Set to the backdrop of the heightened tensions following the beating of Rodney King at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department in 1992, Sergeant Eldon Perry (Russell) is a volatile and enigmatic character. He considers himself above the law and does whatever his master Jack Van Meter (Brendan Gleeson) bids in order to make money and gain a reputation. His new partner is the young and idealistic Bobby Keogh (Scott Speedman), who rails against his methods; but there’s no stopping a force of nature. Meanwhile, Assistant Chief Arthur Holland (Ving Rhames) is determined to clean up the department.
Written by David Ayer (Training Day, End of Watch), Dark Blue is a crime drama which is reflective of its time and place. Context is key, and whilst Perry’s actions may seem overly caricatured and grotesque, they reflect a prevailing attitude amongst many on the force at the time. Russell throws himself into the role, displaying the madcap energy he’s renowned for whilst also displaying a more subtle and nuanced side to his craft. Dark Blue is a high-octane descent into corruption, chaos and an institution which was morally and ethically bankrupt.
Special Edition Contents:
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Audio commentary by director Ron Shelton
- Code Blue – An archival documentary on the making of the film featuring Kurt Russell, Ving Rhames, screenwriter David Ayer, director Ron Shelton and others
- By the Book – An archival featurette on the look of the film featuring art director Tom Taylor, production Dennis Washington, costumes designer Kathryn Morrison and more
- Necessary Force – An archival featurette on the authentic portrayal of the cops in the film featuring technical advisor Bob Souza, Shelton and Russell
- Trailer and TV Spots
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tracie Ching
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver
Dark Blue is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video on 7 May.