Corruption, movie star call girls and the Big H, just another day in Hollywood.
Everything is suspect...everyone is for sale...and nothing is what it seems.
'Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush.'
'This is the City of the Angels, and you haven't got any wings.'
'Hold up your badge, so they'll know you're a policeman.'
Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe portray hardboiled L.A. cops gumshoe through the smoky, Venetian-blind shadowed corruption of classic 1953 Noir Hollywood.
Ed Exley (Pearce) is the straight-laced, play by the rules, mama’s boy. Bud White (Crowe) is the squad’s muscle with a thing for helping damsels in distress.
Then there’s Sergeant Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey), who’s on the payroll of the town’s tabloid rag, Hush Hush, the technical advisor for a cop show and a narc who keeps the stash he finds at the scene.
Their paths intersect with the Nite Owl murders. Exley seizes the opportunity to prove his worth; even taking off his signature glasses since apparently no other detective is dorky enough to have eye problems.
White senses a deeper conspiracy behind the murders. He can’t shake the meathead persona so he investigates on his own, finding the not-so-damsel in distress, Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger), a high class hooker who looks like Veronica Lake.
Taking her cues from the real Veronica Lake, Bracken is your cliched bombshell, femme fatale.
Vincennes, during a demotion to vice, finds a connection from porn, hookers, drugs and power; seeing that those things always maintain a healthy connection.
Throw in the Irish police captain, a Walt Disney look-a-like pimp and Danny DeVito as their separate investigations merge, threatening to expose the steaming pile of corruption and greed running the City of Angels.