Sgt. Nick Pulovski (Clint Eastwood) and his partner, Powell, are assigned to a case of taking down the criminal empire of a German felon, Strom (Raúl Juliá), who engages in grand theft auto and chop shop operations. During an encounter with Strom and his men, who are loading a semi-trailer truck with stolen cars, Powell is murdered. Nick, despite efforts to catch the criminals on the highway, ends up losing them. Consequently, Nick is removed from the case by his superior, Lt. Raymond Garcia, and given a new partner, David Ackerman (Charlei Sheen), a young officer recently promoted to rookie Detective, who has continual nightmares and is plagued by guilt over his brother’s death, believing it was his fault as a child. Against regulations, Nick and David start investigating the Strom case. Nick tracks down a man working for Strom, Morales, whom he forces to cooperate in return for immunity. Morales, under Nick’s instructions, manages to plant a two-way radio inside Strom’s house without getting caught, but is still murdered later on by Strom’s companion, Liesl (Sônia Braga). Feeling pressured by the authorities, Strom deduces that there is a connection between Morales and another one of his operatives, Little Felix, who has also been secretly working as an informant for Nick regarding the disclosure of his illegal activities at his wrecking yards. Through the radio, Nick and David learn that Strom is planning to leave the country after robbing a local casino of two million dollars. Strom’s men set off smoke bombs inside the casino and capture the general manager, Alphonse, forcing him to open the vault for them. Inside the vault however, are Nick and David, who had conspired with Alphonse to capture Strom. Yet Liesl, knowing of David’s naïveté, dares him and distracts Nick long enough for Strom to pin the detective down to the floor. Liesl shoots David in the back; although he is not killed due to his bulletproof vest. But moments later, one of Strom’s men, Cruz, discovers that the vault is empty. With police surrounding the building, Strom takes Nick hostage and demands the two million dollars as a ransom. Strom, however, has his hideout rigged with explosives, planning on destroying it with Nick inside while he escapes the country with the money…

“The Rookie” was a standard cop buddy action film when it came out, but back then a new Clint Eastwood movie was the “shit” and I reckon I thought it was pretty ok. When re-seeing it 24 years later that is not really the case. It´s such a formula A cop movie and Eastwood is almost on parody mode and Sheen looks lost and high. The person who came up with the bright idea of making Sonia Braga´s and Raul Julia´s characters germans when they both are/were from Puerto Rico makes no sense at all. And besides that they are hardly that convincing as bad guys. The movie was controversial for its depiction of a provocative woman-on-man rape sequence with it garnering much publicity and to be honest why oh why was that in the film? Clint Eastwood actually agreed to do this movie in exchange for the Warner Brothers studio letting him make his personal film project, “White Hunter Black Heart” (1990). And in a way that shines through in Eastwood´s performance. Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun Times wrote back then “The Rookie is jammed with material and the budget was obviously large, but somehow not much pays off. It’s all there on the screen, but lifeless.” So true. It´s all on autopilot. My treat was to see my Twin Peaks crush Lara Flynn Boyle in a supporting role. That´s pretty much it. (2 and a half out of 5)

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