In Too Deep
In Too Deep is a 1999 thriller film written by Michael Henry Brown and Paul Aaron, and directed by Michael Rymer and starring Omar Epps, LL Cool J, Stanley Tucci with Pam Grier and Nia Long. In Too Deep is a story about Dwayne Gittens (LL Cool J), an underworld boss so powerful that his nickname is "God". He controls eighty percent of the drug traffic in Cincinnati, Ohio, controls many of his opponents through bribery or intimidation, and appears to be untouchable. An undercover policeman Jeffrey Cole (Omar Epps) posing as a drug dealer under the name of J. Reid from Akron, Ohio is determined to be the man who brings down God's underworld empire. He goes undercover and assumes an identity that allows him to infiltrate God's organization. However, the longer Cole remains inside the underworld, the more he becomes a product of it. A soundtrack containing hip hop music was released on August 24, 1999 by Columbia Records. It made it 28 on the Billboard 200 and 8 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and featured 50 Cent's debut single, "How to Rob". This movie was based on a book about the takedown of a Boston ganglord named Darryl Whiting but born Duane O. Gittings hence the nickname GOD.
Release Date: August 25, 1999
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Despite its ominous sounding title, "In Too Deep" never really goes any deeper than surface level.
In its way, this fact-based cop thriller is an admirable attempt at making an urban "Serpico" or "Donnie Brasco." But while good casting promises big things, a ham-fisted and cliched script and lackluster direction undermine the performers.
Also, the material feels surprisingly exploitative in places, as if scenes were constructed to pump up the action and downplay the story elements. And excessive profanity, violent content and a thumping rap soundtrack certainly add heft to that argument.
In any case, it's definitely a disappointing starring debut for Omar Epps, who has been good in several co-starring roles, including television's "ER." He stars here as Jeffrey Cole, a talented undercover detective.
Fresh out of the police academy, he quickly talks his way into a prized but dangerous assignment, namely infiltrating Cleveland's biggest urban drug operations. After busting some small-time operations, it's time to go after a much bigger target: local crime lord Dwayne "God" Gittens (LL Cool J).
However, after spending time in "deep cover" with the affable drug dealer, Jeff is unable to distinguish between his real life and his manufactured identity of fast-talking J. Reid — a fact that's obvious to his girlfriend (Nia Long) and to his immediate superior (Stanley Tucci).
The true story the film is based upon probably would have made for an interesting movie. Unfortunately, the filmmakers (director Michael Rymer and a pair of screenwriters) have turned it into a routine Hollywood thriller, despite good performances from the leads.
However, credit both Epps and LL Cool J for trying to make their scenes work, and for trying to elevate the material. And the always dependable Tucci does manage to bring some class to the production.
"In Too Deep" is rated R for considerable profanity, violent beatings and gunplay, use of racial epithets and ethnic slurs, simulated drug use (marijuana and cocaine), use of crude sexual slang, female nudity, simulated sex, gore and a scene depicting torture.August 25th, 1999 · Details