Deep Cover (1992)

John Hull: How much is this?
Betty McCutcheon: Do you know anything about ethnic art? Have you ever been in a store like this? See, we don’t put price tags on our merchandise. So if you have to ask, then obviously you can’t afford it.
John Hull: In that case I’ll take two of them.

This is one of my favorite movie quotes. It comes from Deep Cover in which cop Russell Stevens (Laurence Fishburne) applies for a job as undercover cop. He becomes John Hull and his job is to infiltrate a drug cartel and get the right information in order to take down the big bosses who are running it. Of course he has to start at the bottom, which means street dealing in order to get attention from David Jason (Jeff Goldblum).

Now this is one gritty and dark movie with some very interesting characters, but also lots of violence. The drug world is a hard one and Fishburne really convinces as this undercover cop that is struggling with his own identity seeing the negative effects of drug use when selling them to the people around him. He knows he’s doing it to get the big fish, but the money and power that come with the territory can be addictive.

I remember that I liked this movie a lot when I was younger and after rewatching this my opinion on this hasn’t changed. Fishburne and Goldblum are both excellent and this movie has some very memorable (and some times funny) characters. The introduction of Carver (Charles Martin Smith) will immediately make you hate him. There are some violent scenes in this as Stevens slowly works up his way in the pyramid, but they add to the feeling that this is a dangerous world for an undercover cop.

Deep Cover also was responsible for introducing the world to Snoop Dogg as he appeared together with Dr.Dre on the title song. With its Sly and the Family Stone drums, unique bassline and extremely violent lyrics which are about discovering an undercover cop and killing him it’s a haunting song. The remix 187um took the concept even further. It’s one of those songs that gave me goose bumps the first time I heard it, which doesn’t often happen and it’s one of my all time favorite songs.

Deep Cover is the type of gritty drug movie which is obviously a product of the early nineties. Although it might have aged when it comes to the clothing and style it’s still a very entertaining movie that’s well worth watching.

Score: 9

6 thoughts on “Deep Cover (1992)

  1. Hi, Nostra and company:

    I discovered ‘Deep Cover’ completely by accident and within a few months became a favorite Guilty Pleasure. Not just for seeing Jeff Goldblum play an obnoxious bad guy, but for the film’s plot, dialogue and fully developed characters. All the way down to Clarence Williams III and his perpetually straight laced cop.

    One of Bill Duke’s best!

    • I wouldn’t even call it a guilty pleasure as I think it’s a good movie! 🙂 Like you say the characters have depth and you will remember them all….

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