5 Plot Point Breakdown: Street Kings (2008)

By Michael Schilf · August 31, 2011

Screenplay Genre: Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

Movie Time: 109 minutes


After Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves) breaks the rules to kill a houseful of Korean gangsters in order to save two missing girls who were imprisoned there, he is congratulated by his Captain Jack Wander (Forest Whitaker) and the rest of the VICE squad but is confronted by his former partner, Terrence Washington (Terry Crews), who despises the corruption within Wander’s unit. Ludlow then goes to the hospital to tend to his wounds, where he meets James Biggs, Captain of Internal Affairs, who gives Ludlow his card, offering to help in cryptic fashion. (00:14:46)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

After being informed by Wander that Washington has snitched on Ludlow, which explains Biggs’ hospital visit, Ludlow follows Washington to a convenience store to confront him, but two masked men with machine guns enter and gun Washington down. But the store’s security video could implicate Ludlow in Washington’s murder because one bullet from Ludlow’s gun also hits Washington. Wander encourages Ludlow to steal the video to cover it up. Ludlow complies. (00:28:27)


Wander informs Ludlow to lie low and let the whole Washington thing blow over as DNA of two criminals known as Fremont and Coates were found at the scene as well as drugs in Washington’s car and 50K on his person. Everything points to Washington being corrupt cop who was stealing drugs form the department’s evidence room and was killed over a bad deal, but still something seems fishy to Ludlow, and against his captain’s orders, Ludlow teams up with Detective Paul “Disco” Diskant (Chris Evans) to pursue the case in further. (00:50:00)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

Ludlow and Disco, posing as corrupt cops, set up a meeting with two criminals masquerading as Fremont (Cle Sloan) and Coates (Common), but the meeting goes bad when they recognize Ludlow from the convenience store. A gunfight erupts, and Coates, Fremont, and Disco are all killed. Ludlow escapes to his girlfriend Grace’s (Martha Higareda) house, where Det. Santos (Amaury Nolasco) and Det. Demille (John Corbett), two officers from his unit, break in and capture him. (1:25:00)


After escaping from Santos and Demille (killing them both) and knocking out the final member of their unit Det. Clady (Jay Mohr) and locking him in the trunk, Ludlow goes to Wander’s house, asking Wander if he can “fix it.” Wander texts Clady for help, but Ludlow secretly has Clady’s phone, and when the text is sent, he reads the message from Wander: “He’s here. Kill him. King’s X.” Ludlow now knows that Wander has been the mastermind behind everything. (1:33:36)

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