In a time before Morpheus…

Laurence Fishburne is one cool characterSometimes staying in on a Friday isn’t such a bad thing. I grilled up some bacon cheeseburgers, then Michelle & I plopped down on the couch for some cable entertainment. After channel surfing a bit and sitting through pieces of movies I eventually stumbled on to the Starz Action channel. The Friday night pick was Deep Cover with Laurence Fishburne & Jeff Goldblum. My friends, this is a must-see classic.

I first saw this film back when it was released in 1992. Back when the actor who would one day become the sci-fi icon Morpheus was still billed as “Larry Fishburne”. I consider Deep Cover to be Laurence’s breakthrough performance and it wouldn’t surprise me if Denzel Washington took some notes for his film Training Day.

The film is about a young boy who — influenced by the death of his drug-addict father — grows up to be a cop. What follows is the tale of how Russell Stevens aka John Q. Hull learns that all his flaws as a police officer allow him to quickly excel through the ranks of LA’s drug cartel. Put on assignment by DEA agent Gerald Carver, John befriends David Jason (played by Jeff Goldblum) a lawyer who has aspirations of creating the next designer drug. As John gets closer to the top of the drug cartel the lines between right & wrong, cop & criminal blur to a point where John is forced to choose between loyalty and holding his moral ground.

The strength of this film lies not with the plot tricks and a “Who dunnit?” ending as much as the character development. John Hull comes to grips with his morality while his partner David goes from squeamish lackey to a power-hungry drug lord. The casting of the movie couldn’t be better as all the actors are important to driving the story. Notable characters include street hustler Eddie who has one of the best lines in the movie “…ain’t had pussy since the pussy had you.” and Taft a God fearing narcotics officer unaware of John’s duplicity.

Other memorable quotes:

Gerald Carver: “So, Officer Stevens, tell me. Do you know the difference between a black man and a n****r?”
Russell Stevens: “The n****r’s the one that would even answer that question.”

David Jason: “How come I like balling black chicks so much?”
John Hull: “I don’t know. Maybe you feel like you’re f#cking a slave.”

David Jason: “You ever been with two women at the same time?”
John Hull: “Yeah, your mother and your father.”

This movie is definitely worth renting from your local Blockbuster or NetFlix. Even better grab yourself a copy on DVD, I know I’ll be picking one up today.

MTV Trivia – This film introduced Snoop Dogg to the hip-hop community on Dr. Dre’s hit single “Deep Cover”.

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