Thursday, October 1, 2015

Now on Netflix: The Seven Five (2015)

The Seven Five (2015) - Directed by Tiller Russell.

By Kenny Howell

In the 1980s, police corruption was rampant throughout New York City, but there was no cop more twisted than Michael Dowd.

Dowd had a gangster mentality, and it didn't take long for him to realize the power he held. He would shake down criminals, take their drugs, money and whatever else he wanted, then let the criminals go.

He soon graduated to working in cahoots with a local drug gang, headed up by a young drug runner. He would help them with robberies, alert them to police raids and to hinder competition with the help of his partner Ken Eurell.

But what goes up, must come down, and all of Dowd's craziness caught up with him eventually. He was arrested and spent several years in prison, and sparked the biggest corruption scandal in NYPD history.

The Seven Five is an intriguing tale, one which I knew nothing about, but it sometimes leans on glorifying some of Dowd's actions. It's the same problem any gangster movie has, finding that balance where you aren't totally vilifying the subject, but you also are praising him. The Seven Five doesn't go out and praise him, it's nothing close to that, but a large portion of the film is spent talking about all the things Dowd did, sometimes in great detail. I think the movie could have benefited from a little more on the case that brought him down.

However, the crux of it is, the strength of it is the characters involved, including Dowd, and the gang leader Adam Diaz. Dowd seems to have remorse about what he did, but there is still a layer of crazy underneath what he says. And Diaz is a compelling look at a criminal kingpin, a man who smiles while talking about men he may or may not have killed. Really, all the people involved are interesting, which makes The Seven Five worth watching, just maybe not elite.

Rating: ***

No comments:

Post a Comment