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Deep Cover (1992)

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A black uniformed policeman is recruited by a devious drug enforcement agent to infiltrate a smuggling organization seeking to expand into designer drugs. This 'ugly side of the war on ... See full summary »

Director:

Bill Duke

Writers:

Michael Tolkin (story), Michael Tolkin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lira Angel ... Bijoux
René Assa René Assa ... Guzman
Bruce Paul Barbour ... Policeman (as Bruce Barbour)
Bilal Bashir Bilal Bashir ... Rapper's Musician
Anna Berger ... Congresswoman
Donald Bishop Donald Bishop ... Judge
Ed Cambridge ... Crackhead #2
Jaime Cardriche ... Shark
Alisa Christensen Alisa Christensen ... Ivy's Driver
Alex Colon ... Molto (as Alex Colón)
Cory Curtis Cory Curtis ... Young Russell Stevens Jr.
Victoria Dillard ... Betty
James Encinas James Encinas ... Guzman's Guard
Joseph Ferro Joseph Ferro ... James
Laurence Fishburne ... Russell Stevens Jr. / John Hull (as Larry Fishburne)
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Storyline

A black uniformed policeman is recruited by a devious drug enforcement agent to infiltrate a smuggling organization seeking to expand into designer drugs. This 'ugly side of the war on drugs' explores the context of race, identity and hypocrisy within a brutal and alienating investigation. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's a thin line between catching a criminal and becoming one . . . See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language, drug use and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 April 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jenseits der weißen Linie See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,451,356, 19 April 1992

Gross USA:

$16,639,799

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,639,799
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last film where Laurence Fishburne was credited as Larry. See more »

Goofs

When Carver is reviewing Stevens' police personnel file, it shows he is divorced, and the reason is shown as "Infedility" See more »

Quotes

David Jason: [of designer drugs] They've gotten a bad name 'cause, uh, I mean, there's a limited market for Parkinson's disease.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tha Westside (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Deep Cover
Performed by Dr. Dre
Introducing Snoop Dogg (as Snoop Doggy Dogg)
by Dr. Dre, Colin Wolfe
Courtesy of Death Row Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Good thriller with a jaded, subversive edge
14 April 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Having witnessed his junkie father killed Russell Stevens grows up to become a policeman and make a difference. When he is offered an undercover job by Gerald Carver he accepts and begins to build a relationship with David Jason in order to get to the main dealers. However as he is forced to deal drugs and kill to keep his cover he finds the lines between cop and criminal being lost – is he a cop pretending to be a dealer or a dealer pretending to be a cop?

Larry (as he was then) Fishburne's first lead role was a typically dark vehicle. The story is the usual one of cop losing himself when undercover, however it manages to be more than that for most of the time. Co-written by Tolkin, who wrote The Player, this naturally has a nice cynical edge to it when it looks at the US's hypocritical approach to drug control and the political links between the street hustlers and the political high rollers who court respectability. The story does eventually settle into a traditional setting but even then it works well as a thriller.

The multi-talented Bill Duke directs well with a gritty feel and a few nice touches. However several things are a bit iffy. For most of the film Fishburne's narration/voice over is a bit like a cross between Apocalypse Now and Blade Runner – it comes across as a little too dark and heavy and also explains things like we can't figure it out ourselves. However once you get into the film it's not as big a deal. My main problem lies with the characters.

Fishburne is excellent, a real model of underlying anger and violence, Goldblum is good but perhaps a little OTT on the yuppie/violence thing, but there's good support from Smith and Spin City's beautiful (and often underused – but not here) Victoria Dillard. However the two main white characters (Goldblum and Smith) are both smeared with racist insinuations – Smith appears to insult his black officers and doesn't care about the junkies, while Goldblum is fascinated about all things black and talks about them as wild beautiful beasts and loves having sex with "black'. These things aren't a major problem, but with basically only two white characters in it, it's a little worrying that both are given that edge.

However these are minor complaints that get lost with a good thriller. Fishburne excels and Duke delivers a story that is a good thriller but also has a jaded, subversive edge.


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