Robert de Niro and 50 Cent Join Forces as Freelancing Rogue Cops

Photo Credit: Grindstone Entertainment Group
August 10th, 2012

Robert de Niro and 50 Cent Join Forces as Freelancing Rogue Cops

-- The plot seems to be yet another variation of a typical police thriller. The son of a murdered cop joins the force. He ends up under the command of his father's former partner, who now heads a mysterious and unsanctioned task force that breaks the law as much as it upholds the law. However, when a film includes veteran thriller star Robert de Niro and rapper 50 Cent on the same murky side of the law, viewers and critics are bound to take notice.

"Freelancers" stars these two disparate entertainment personalities, and its basic plot indeed centers on a rookie cop who joins a secret task force. 50 Cent portrays the new recruit, and Robert de Niro plays the role of the veteran cop, Captain Vic Sarcone. Sarcone continually tests his new charge to make sure that the rookie has the qualities necessary to be part of his rogue task force, namely loyalty, dedication and absolute ruthlessness. The plot thickens when the new cop finds out exactly how his father was killed, and it then focuses on his pursuit of justice and revenge.
This movie will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray less than two weeks after its theater release. While the name of 50 Cent's character will only be made known when the film actually debuts on August 10, 2012, it is interesting to note that the star himself is referred to as Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson rather than just 50 Cent. This heralds his recent breakthrough into the acting world, which began with his portrayal of a drug dealer turned rapper in "Get Rich or Die Tryin'." Forest Whitaker, an Oscar winner, also appears in "Freelancers," and Dana Delany plays the female lead.
The film is quite violent, and it has earned an R rating based on its sexual content, drug use scenes, nudity and obscene language. These elements are typical of films of this genre, and they only make the film more attractive to its intended audience.

Like most cop thrillers, "Freelancers" is dramatized and exaggerated, but the issue of rogue cops does get attention from time to time in real news coverage. The New York Police Department, where the fictional Sarcone and his new protégé serve, has been dogged by reports of rogue officers and even rogue precincts in recent years. Indeed, there are policemen throughout the world who find it hard to stay on the right side of the law. Some see the lifestyles that criminals lead versus that which their own civil service paycheck affords them, and they cannot resist the temptation to switch sides. Others become so entangled with the criminal world that they cannot separate themselves from its intrigue, and they betray the public's trust by covering for criminals in exchange for favors. Still others become so hardened after years of dealing with vicious criminals and violent crime that they resort to improper methods of investigation and carry out their duties as a means of revenge and seeking justice rather than of enforcing the law.

All of these aspects of police work manifest themselves in the plot of "Freelancers," and if the plot seems familiar, it is because it does have some basis in reality. While secret task forces may be fictional, bonds between gang members and bonds between police officers are very similar. Again, it is the New York Police Department that is most known for such tight bonds. The unwritten code to which New York officers adhere is called the blue wall of silence. It means that police officers will overlook any illegal conduct among their peers, especially when that behavior is directed against criminals or suspects. While it is a far cry from the blue wall of silence to secret underground task forces, there have been serious incidents involving entire precincts in New York and elsewhere. Some of these incidents did indeed arise from a desire to deal harshly with harsh criminals, but they morphed into instances of out and out police brutality or even criminality.

With its unusual combination of 50 Cent and Robert de Niro, "Freelancers" will certainly attract fans of police thrillers and even urban gangster films. It will most likely prove to be a successful niche film, and it will probably sell a respectable number of DVDs and Blu-Ray disks. While "Freelancers" is really entertainment and nothing more, it does dramatize real issues that affect those whose job it is to uphold the law.