• Publication date: August 2, 2010

Scarred City Scarred City

Well-intentioned beat cop John Trace is under investigation for his third on-duty shooting ...

Well-intentioned beat cop John Trace is under investigation for his third on-duty shooting in the span of a month. The next time he’s out on patrol, he ends up chasing down a crack dealer whom he believes to be armed. When the dealer appears to pull a gun, Trace shoots him dead. With his fourth shooting, Trace is sure to be suspended from the force. But to his surprise, several plainclothes officers show up and plant a weapon near the dead crack dealer’s body. It turns out that these men refer to themselves as S.C.A.R, a covert group of vigilante officers who specialize in taking down the city’s hoodlums using any means necessary. The group’s head, Lieutenant Laine Devon, offers Trace a spot in their special unit. Though he has reservations about their methods, Trace’s only choice is to accept or face possible jail time. When the S.C.A.R.S’ raid a Colombian drug dealer’s mansion, they indiscriminately kill anyone in sight, including a number of unarmed prostitutes. Trace stumbles across a call-girl named Candy hiding in a closet. Indisposed to the sort of ruthlessness that the others possess, John rescues Candy and they flee the scene. Now Trace has both the Colombians and the cops on his tail. Scarred City puts a modern spin on the kind of themes found in Clint Eastwood’s classic Magnum Force, but with the action quotient ratcheted up a notch. Variety’s Godfrey Cheshire credited the film for being “a cut above most contemporary cop dramas,” adding that it featured “gritty urban action, sardonic humor, taut direction, and some nicely shaded performances.”