We continue our Undercover Cop movie theme with In Too Deep, an engaging thriller from 1999. It resembles Deep Cover in many ways but is still very original. I have to admit that I first fell in love with gangsta culture watching these movies. And playing San Andreas, of course. Finally, when I checked out The Wire, everything clicked. I was somehow connected with the hood and started seeing patterns everywhere. Who was a player and who was not, how loyalty, love, and pursuit of happiness influenced the world and me personally in my environment. Lessons to be learned, youngins to be schooled…
But, I digress, lets get back to this awesome movie. In Too Deep is not one of those action movies where bullets are flying everywhere and the story is bent to accommodate certain scenes. It’s more of a character study, especially with a crew this experienced. LL Cool J gave a memorable performance where he could use both his physical stature and acting skills. Omar Epps was usually good along with Stanley Tucci and as a bonus, we have none other than the legend that goes by the name of Pam Grier. Working with a good script they created authentic characters, something that was crucial for the plot to work. With this title, it could have been a bit deeper and stylish, like The Wire.
Fresh out of Police Academy, Jeffrey Cole gets his dream job right away. Superiors recognized his immense potential and tasked Jeffrey with taking down God, a dangerous crime lord. Because God is extremely careful, Jeffrey will have to go undercover and infiltrate his gang without setting off any alarms. This will be a difficult task and put pressure not only on his relationship but also on his sanity.
In Too Deep is a dark and violent movie that offers a look into the ruthless world of crime. It’s one of the so-called hood movies, with most of its story taking place in the rough neighborhoods of the city of Cincinnati. It’s based on the true story of Darryl Whiting also known as God, a notorious drug kingpin from Boston. He operated in the Orchard Park Projects, one of Boston’s most notorious housing projects demolished in 1998. Whiting wrote a book Takin’ It To Another Level, so if you want to know more about his life be sure to check it out. The agent portrayed by Omar Epps didn’t write a book about his experience working undercover.
So, it’s no wonder that In Too Deep features well-developed and colorful characters and good dialogue. Suspenseful and focused on difficult moral choices, it will keep your attention for ninety minutes. Enjoy.
Director: Michael Rymer
Writers: Michael Henry Brown, Paul Aaron
Cast: Omar Epps, LL Cool J, Nia Long, Pam Grier, Don Harvey, David Patrick Kelly, Hill Harper, Jake Weber, Richard Brooks
Fun Stuff: The pool stick scene wasn’t originally in the script. LL Cool J came up with the idea and director accepted it.