The Kid Who Would Be King
The Kid Who Would Be King is good where it counts most.
The latest edition of Scout Tafoya’s “The Unloved” video essay series focuses on Ron Shelton’s “Dark Blue,” as based on a story by James Ellroy and a script by David Ayer. Receiving mixed reviews on its release, the film offers a tough look at a racist, militaristic police force that resonates 15 years later. Kurt Russell stars as a bad cop from the same Los Angeles of Daryl Gates, the infamous L.A.P.D. chief during the Rodney King era. As Tafoya describes him, Russell’s character Eldon Perry is “a man used to fabricating evidence, arresting innocent people, and covering up murders all for his superiors. Human life means nothing to him anymore … he’s keeping the machinery of injustice alive, so that white men can stay on top.” With reference to the recent presidential pardoning of the racist sheriff Joe Arpaio, Tafoya proclaims: "Our government and its precincts are still run by the Daryl Gates and Eldon Perrys of the world, and thus they have no authority over us. Those who don’t see us as equals, humans, cannot govern us.”
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This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...