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Colors is a 1988 film reformatted into a Blu-ray movie. The movie starring Robert Duvall and Sean Penn focuses on the gangs of LA and trying to control and survive the gang ridden streets. It mainly follows the Bloods and the Crips the two largest LA crimes in terms of members. Robert Duvall plays a cop named Bob Hodges while Sean Penn plays Danny McGavin. Both doing the same job but going about it different ways. Hodges is the “cool” cop who tries to be friends with the gang members in order to hopefully get intel at a future date. McGavin is the type of cop who thinks with his gun and not with his head. Extremely headstrong and always wanting to crack down on a gang member even for a little “rock” of drugs. In one of the following scenes McGavin crashes the cop car that him and Hodges are in It gets replaced by an ugly yellow one. He gets the name Pac-Man from the gang members on the street. It made me laugh as it was quite a creative nickname. At a point during the movie McGavin starts doing some questionable things that leaves Hodges worried. He starts letting the badge be an excuse for his actions. I started to worry that what he was doing to come back and bite him in the butt. Without giving anything away, the way the plot changes because of his actions is extremely interesting.

One little side note about the movie that might turn some people off is the vulgarity and nudity in the movie. There are two sex scenes that aren’t shy with showing a little flesh, and a lot of vulgarity between the cops and gang members. It is rated R so I expected some stuff but was surprised by the nudity. This isn’t something that bothers me, but for some, just a word of warning if you’re sensitive to this type of stuff.

One part about the movie that especially with Blu-Ray could have possibly been fixed was the sound effects during fights. Whenever someone got punched in the face it sounded cartoonish which was a little comical. However, keeping the movie how it was originally made and not changing anything probably left a lot of people happy. If it were changed people wouldn’t like it.

The movie being made in the late 1980’s has a strong presence of hip-hop music. Artists including Ice-T, Salt-N-Pepa and Big Daddy Kane. These artists had a huge influence on the generation of the people in this movie and the potential people who would have seen it. Even watching it in 2017, the music made it feel like I was still in the 1980’s something I found enjoyable.

I looked up some more information about the movie just to get a little more insight about what went on in East LA in the late 1980’s. Something I found very interesting was that real gang members were hired by the producer Robert H. Solo for the movie. Ironically enough, two of them were shot during filming. The trouble that city was having with gang violence, it’s not surprising that this had happened. Another interesting thing that happened during filming was Sean Penn getting arrested. An extra was taking photos of him and he didn’t like it, resulting in Penn punching him and being put in jail for 33 days. You can tell that the producer chose a great actor to play McGavin because his persona outside of the movie relates to the character inside the movie.

My favorite part of the movie though was the ending. It was wrapped up beautifully and made you appreciate the movie. Once it’s been seen you will know what I’m referring to. Often times movies have a difficult time wrapping up the ending and either making it good, or relevant to the rest of the movie. But I thought Colors did a wonderful job with the ending and it made for a really good movie. Often the ending can ruin the entire movie no matter how good it was throughout but this was not the case here.

Even if you don’t care about the Blood and the Crips, Colors is still a very good movie with great actors and a pretty good plot line. The movie runs about two hours but I found myself so engrossed in what was going on that it flew by with me wanting to know more. I’ve always had an interest in the LA gangs and the history behind them. Colors gives you a very good look of what life was really like back then, not just for the cops, but for the gangs as well.


  • Great acting
  • Interesting story
  • Soundtrack


  • Some fight scenes are cheesy