Two Narcotics Detectives find themselves in an intense investigation lead by a determined Internal Affairs Detective after a child is wrongfully shot dead in a violent drug bust.
In an apartment complex in the midst of a shootout with a group of drug-dealing bad guys, detectives Mike Gallo (Jesse Bradford) and David Miles (Lochlyn Munro) give chase but as Mike turns a corner, he accidentally shoots a fifteen year-old boy who just happens to be on his way home. Distraught at the outcome of his actions, he begins to call it in but his partner David stops him and informs him that if he does so, he will go down, they both will, so he takes a handgun he retrieved from one of the drug dealers, fires a few rounds and then places it in the kid’s hand, implying that he was a member of the gang. This doesn’t sit well with Mike but with David being the seasoned veteran, he reluctantly goes along with it.
Upon being questioned by their captain (Martin Sheen), they both tell the same story and are sent on their way. When the dead man’s mother makes an announcement on the news that her son was wrongfully killed by the police and that they are trying to cover it up, detective Jessica Dawson (Mena Suvari), who is new to the department and works for Internal Affairs, is assigned the case. Having been transferred from another state because she arrested her own partner for police brutality, she has an obligation to tell the truth, even if it means the cops will pay for their actions, should they be found guilty.
As she begins her analysis of the case, it appears that Mike isn’t very enthusiastic about the story she was given and when David hears that she has been questioning him, he sends Samuel (Aleks Paunovic), a bad guy who works for him, to kill her. As her investigation deepens, she realizes that the cops here have each other’s backs, no matter what the situation and she must quickly find out what really happened in the shooting of the young boy, before it is too late.
“Badge of Honor” tells a familiar tale of police corruption and conspiracy, one that resonates with the public here in the U.S. today. With the shooting of Dontre Hamilton, who was fatally shot 14 times by a police officer, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner, who died after he was put in an illegal chokehold in police custody, these events sparked outcries and protests around the country, especially taking into consideration that all three men were unarmed and died as a result of police brutality, and in each case, the police officer responsible was never charged for their deaths. “Badge of Honor” touches on these issues but adds to the equation, an honest cop who feels remorse for his actions that resulted in the accidental death of a teenager.
While there are bad cops in the world today, there are a lot of good police officers who care about their jobs and the people they defend and who I’m sure don’t appreciate the reputation the bad cops give them. “Badge of Honor” presents a scenario that we are all too familiar with nowadays but it also gives us a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes goings on that we don’t get to see and we are reminded that there are more good people involved than we know.
There is a very charismatic cast on display here with the always dependable Martin Sheen leading the pack. Patrick Muldoon and Natasha Henstridge are criminally underused while Mena Suvari brings an aura of principle and veracity to her role as a police detective who has sworn to tell the truth. Lochlyn Munro, known more for his comedic turns in such movies as “Dead Man on Campus,” “Scary Movie,” and “White Chicks,” plays the role of David with unflinching menace, while Jesse Bradford plays his polar opposite, a good cop who is willing to suffer the consequences for his actions but is afraid of alienating his partner and, by definition, his fellow colleagues. As soon as the movie begins, director Agustin deliberately creates an ambivalent and mistrustful atmosphere, forcing you to question each character and their potential motives. “Badge of Honor” is elevated by a top-notch cast and skillful direction and is well worth a watch.
Available on DVD February 2nd
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