Downtown [1990]

In this comic twist on the cop buddy genre, suburban Philadelphia policeman Alex Kearney (Anthony Edwards) is unfairly reassigned to a dangerous, rundown inner-city precinct after busting a wealthy, well-connected businessman for speeding. Soon after, his partner is killed when he attempts to bust a drug transaction in the area, and Kearney seeks the aid of Dennis Curren (Forest Whitaker), a loner cop in the downtown precinct who's resistant to working with the naive suburban transfer. Despite their differences--notably Kearney's by-the-book approach and Curren's toss-the-book attitude to law enforcement--the duo begin investigating what at first seems to be an ordinary drug operation, but soon expands into something larger. The antagonistic chemistry between Whitaker and Edwards works to the film's advantage and lends itself to some poignant moments as the guarded Curren slowly opens up to his new, gung ho partner. Despite an unnecessarily Hollywoodish ending, Downtown is a charming buddy pic. --Bryan Reesman

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