The Larry Gannon trilogy
Police Inspectors Larry Gannon (Brad Pitt) and Bruce Parker (Robert Downey Jr.) are not exactly considered Bostonís finest. They destroy too many cruisers, shoot up too many neighborhoods and their methods of persuading witnesses to talk have landed them in hot water more than once. Their last case against underworld kingpin Alberto Storella (Al Pacino) was thrown out of court when the judge discovered their evidence was obtained illegally, and now the pair is one step away from an Internal Affairs investigation. But when a crazed lunatic that the press dubs ďThe Pig-eaterĒ starts blowing away cops, Chief of Detectives Bernie Eidshide (Ray Liotta) gives Gannon and Parker one last chance.
Tracking their way through a case where no one seems to have seen or heard anything, the pair slowly close in on their quarry. But complicating matters is Gannonís ex-wife, Lieutenant Kate Delvecchio (Uma Thurman), who would like nothing more than to see both of them off the force. One evening when Gannon is called in for questioning by Internal Affairs, Parker heads off to question a suspect alone. Following the late night interrogation by a smug Kate, Gannon is ordered suspended from the force for 60 days starting on Friday. The next morning, Parkerís body is found dumped in an alley in Chinatown with two .32 slugs in his head. Again, no one has seen anything.
When Kate expresses her sorrow at Parkerís murder, Gannon explodes at her Ė ďIf you hadnít been playing your god-damned power games last night, Bruce wouldnít have been alone! He would have had me there to back him up! Thereís no way this whack-job would have got to him. Every killing has been a cop who was alone! Thatís the sonovabitchís MO!Ē
As he heads out to bring the killer in Kate tries to stop him, without breaking his stride Gannon knocks her cold and continues out the door. Parker was going to question a guy named Ritchie Iron (Billy Bob Thornton) that night, a man that the pair had connected to the murder weapon through a tiny, hole-in-the-wall gun shop that few people have even heard of.
Breaking into Ironís apartment Gannon finds evidence that proves Iron is the killer. But Iron returns suddenly and starts shooting. After a brief exchange of gunfire, he bolts. Running like a jackrabbit, Iron leads Gannon through the choked city streets where he doesnít dare fire. Finally while crossing a high school football field Gannon gets a clear shot. The thundering .44 magnum slug sending the killer into a final death-slide on the damp grass.
Back at Police headquarters, Gannon drops his badge and gun on Kateís desk. When she tries to talk to him, he ignores her and walks out. Outside, he stands looking at the police memorial as Bruce Parkerís name is added to the list of officers who have given their lives to protect others. After a few moments Gannonís shoulders slump, he sighs, then turns and walks slowly down the street.
Itís six months after Inspector Larry Gannon (Brad Pitt) lost his badge in the aftermath of the Pig-eater case. Back on the force heís assigned to a special undercover job with Capt. Briggsí (Andy Garcia) Organized Crime unit in an attempt to finally take down Mafia Don, Alberto Storella (Al Pacino). Storella has been battling Mickey OíBrien for control of Boston for months, and has been slowly taking his rivalís organization apart. In his latest actions a Storella gunman killed 5 of OíBrienís drug trafficers, gunned down at a party. Now Storella aims to move into the vacuum heís created by setting up a new narcotics pipeline with a Turk named Namoe and the two are about to meet for the first time to hammer out the details.
The Org Crime unit intercepts the Turk before he can get off his plane, slipping Gannon in, in his place. Heavily disguised and backed up by his new partner, Inspector Beth Hanna (Eva Mendez), Gannon infiltrates Storellaís stronghold in Namoeís place. But things fall apart when the digital recorder Gannonís carrying malfunctions and begins playing back. Enraged Storella tears off Gannonís disguise revealing the face of his most hated enemy. Now at full alert Hanna is also discovered and killed in a gun battle with Storellaís men. Gannon is beaten and drugged for several days in a secret room while Briggs and the Org Crime unit search for him.
After almost a week and in a nearly catatonic state Storella sneaks Gannon and Hannaís corpse out for a midnight burial at the gravel pits. But Gannon manages to grab his gun away from Storella and orders them to stop the car. While Gannon is distracted fighting Storellaís men the boss makes a run for it. Gannon gives chase but is koshed on the head and tumbles to the bottom of the gravel pit. Storella turns the conveyors on and begins filling the pit, then leaves Gannon for dead and returns to the limo. But Gannon manages to claw his way out and again confronts the mobster. Storella snatches up a gun and fires wildly. Gannonís .44 thunders once to deadly effect, blowing Storellaís head off. Leaving the dead mobsters where they lay Gannon gets into Storellaís limo and drives back toward the city.
A few months after the Storella case Inspector Larry Gannon (Brad Pitt) is back in Capt. Eidshideís (Ray Liotta) Homicide division when he is called to investigate a dead body in a car at the municipal dump. The body turns out to that of Narcotics detective Johnny Pappas, shot through the head at long range, on the seat next to him is a brick of heroin taken from the narcotics security vault, still bearing its police ID tag. On a rooftop with a clear view of the dump Gannon finds a spent shell casing.
Back at Police headquarters Eidshide tells Gannon that drugs have been disappearing from the vault for the past several years but Commissioner DeMarco has always ordered it swept under the rug for political reasons, right now the investigation has been put on hold until after the mayoral election. When Gannon expresses his dismay at the political situation he is told that Eidshide is going on with the investigation anyway but it has to be kept quiet. Just two officers, one detective from Homicide and one from Narcotics. Gannon will be half of the team, the other half will be his old friend Detective Sergeant Burt Lucas (Paul Walker), who had transferred from Homicide to Narcotics six months ago. All three men know that they can trust one another but all also realize that even if successful, they could still be fired for going behind DeMarcoís back.
Gannon and Lucas meet up and begin the investigation by questioning a known stool pigeon named Little Ricky (Elijah Wood). Although reluctant to cough up any information, Ricky eventually gives the pair a lead on an operator named Santos (James Franco) who works for an independent on the South side.
Eidshide calls the pair in and tells them that Santosí prints were found on the shell casing that Gannon discovered on the roof, but Gannon has to admit that he didnít have a search warrant when he searched the roof, thus making the shell casing in-admissible as evidence. Eidshide goes ballistic as he sees their best lead go up in smoke because Gannon didnít follow procedure. Lucas mollifies him with the news about Little Rickyís lead, but Eidshide orders the pair to make sure the investigation can hold up in court.
That evening as he returns home Eidshide is severely beaten by a masked assailant who leaves a blood-spattered message to stop the investigation
Tracking Santos down to a cheap dive in the Combat Zone, Bostonís notorious red-light district, Lucas questions him at gunpoint until he gives them the information that they want. The hit on Pappas was ordered by a man named Contrez (Emilio Estevez), an independent operator selling narcotics around the cityís schoolyards, who also makes kiddie porn. Pappas was his narcotics supplier but when he started to get nervous and threatened to turn stateís evidence Contrez had Santos kill him. Contrez has already arranged a new inside man at narcotics and so didnít need Pappas anymore. Meanwhile Gannon has a vicious brawl with the masked assailant eventually killing and then unmasking the man who turns out to be Narcotics Detective Lieutenant Falcone, the new inside man.
The next morning Lucas contacts Gannon with the news that reporters have gotten a hold of the story on the killings and Commissioner DeMarcoís retribution has swift. Eidshide is being forced to resign and he and Gannon have been demoted to Traffic starting Monday morning. After mulling things over the pair decide to use the time they have left to pressure Contrez into making a bad move.
They manage to invade his mansion, plant a bug, and push him into making a last big score; but they have misjudged his reaction to the confrontation badly. That evening Lucasís long time girlfriend is found dead of a massive heroin overdose, and the next morning it is learned that Gannonís niece has also been killed in the same way. Lucas goes completely to pieces and quits the force.
Gannon, however, is mad as hell and goes after Contrez at the final score. In a running gunfight among the sand dunes on Cape Cod the two battle it out. Gannon is seriously wounded but manages to kill Contrez in the final confrontation. The narcotics that Contrez has in his possession forces a major, public investigation that brings down the corrupt DeMarco and clears Eidshide, Gannon and Lucas of any wrong-doing.