First Hit: Despite an erratic start this film grew on me and 2 ½ hours went by very quickly and in the end I was satisfied.
Two very different actors Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe playing opposite of each other and they don’t meet until the very end of the film. I really liked how Ridley Scott did this story. It felt congruent with the way this true story might have evolved. I am a Denzel fan because he holds a strong screen presence. This film lets him be grandiose, kind, decisive, and violent. This is a story about a man with the intent to live his life on his terms. It isn’t until the end of the film do you get a small picture as to why he flaunts the law and has little respect for the police. The saddest part of the film was watching the careless disregard Denzel’s character towards the people who are dying for his product.
On the other hand Russell Crowe is a nose to the grindstone kind of guy who works his job with honor but the rest of his life is a mess. Crowe does a very good job of slowly bringing out his character and only in the end to you does all this come together. Meaning he starts learning how to manage and lead an investigative team while learning he passes the bar exam. And although his wife leaves him, the film ends with you having the feeling his life will continue to get better both personally and professionally.
Overall: This was a really good film although hard to watch all the needles going into dying spirits.