In football, a good player does not always make a good manager; just ask Paul Ince. And in Hollywood, a good writer does not always make a good director. David Ayer was the writer behind Training Day and SWAT, and he has already cut his directing teeth on Harsh Times. The screenplay comes from a story by James Ellroy (whose novels have spawned the movies LA Confidential and The Black Dahlia). The cast is balanced with action-genre stalwarts (Keanu Reeves, Chris Evans), weightier actors (Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie), those stepping up from the small screen (John Corbett, Amaury Nolasco) and rap stars (Common, The Game). So with all these elements you could expect a sharp and well executed action film. But from the start you know you will be disappointed. The establishment of Keanu Reeves character as an on the edge detective is by the numbers filming, with the cliches coming far too thick and fast. The acting is not of the calibre that some of its stars can deliver, and the film leaves you with a feeling of deja vu. It is really just a jumbled mess of other cop films you have seen before.