Never as eccentric as The Last Movie or Out of the Blue, Colors nevertheless makes most other cop movies look formulaic by comparison. Neither its plot - two mismatched cops take on LA's murderous gangs - nor its violence offer anything out of the ordinary. It wins out, rather, with a raw authenticity: gritty location shooting, plausibly inarticulate dialogue, a chaotic episodic narrative, and excellent performances. To a rather predictable master-pupil relationship, Duvall and Penn bring a refreshing lack of buddy-buddy sentimentality, while Hopper avoids sensationalism, rarely condemning or condoning, but providing a stark, even subtle investigation of misplaced loyalties and a moronic sense of honour. He also copes with car chases, stand-offs, and shootouts as efficiently as any director currently working in Hollywood. Finally, however, it's a film with heart; a moving, beautifully acted death scene at the end effortlessly evokes the sense of waste inevitable in a world of such random, unthinkingly violent macho pride.