The Rookie (1990 film)

Infobox Film
name = The Rookie

caption = "The Rookie" theatrical poster
director = Clint Eastwood
writer = Scott Spiegel
starring = Clint Eastwood
Charlie Sheen
Raul Julia
Sonia Braga
producer = Howard G. Kazanjian
Steven Siebert
David Valdes
cinematography= Jack N. Green
editing = Joel Cox
distributor = Warner Bros.
released = December 7, 1990
runtime = 121 min
country = United States
language = English
budget =
music = Lennie Niehaus | imdb_id = 0100514

"The Rookie" is a 1990 action thriller film, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, and co-starring Charlie Sheen. The film is notable for its unconventional rape scene (non statutory female on male rape), and a stunt scene in which Eastwood and Sheen's characters escape an exploding building by driving a car through a window, five stories up.


Nick Pulovski (Eastwood) and his partner, Powell, are assigned to the case of taking down the criminal empire of the local German mob boss, Strom (Julia), who specialises in Chop Shop operations. During an encounter with Strom and his men, who are loading a tow truck with stolen cars, Powell is killed by Strom, and Pulovski, despite his efforts to catch the criminals on the motorway, loses them.

Consequently, Pulovski is removed from the case (Homicide Division takes over) by his superior, Lt. Ray Garcia (Pepe Serna), and given a new partner, David Ackerman (Sheen), a young man recently promoted to his current rank and who is plagued by recurring nightmares of having unintentionally caused his younger brother's death when they were children. Ackerman, being unexperienced like the veteran Pulovski, does not blend in at first, and has a hard time putting up with Pulovski's bitter attitude. Pulovski and Ackerman visit the local hooligan's bar, and Pulovski interrogates one of Strom's men, Little Felix, for information, bribing him with a bag of cocaine (actually talcum powder), while Ackerman's badge is stolen by Loco Martinez (one of Strom's men and a friend of the hooligans), and Ackerman is beaten up until Pulovski saves him.

With Felix's information, Pulovski and Ackerman track down Morales, another one of Strom's men, at a scrapyard, where Pulovski corners Morales inside his car and lifts it up with the machinery to force Morales to cooperate. Morales, under Pulovski's instructions, manages to plant a two-way radio inside Strom's house, but loses his life in the process, Strom and his girlfriend, Liesl, having learned of his betrayal, but not of his cooperation with the police.

Pulovski is later invited to Ackerman's mother's birthday party, where he meets Ackerman's father, Eugene, who warns him of how he and his wife have spoiled Ackerman since he was a child and not prepared him properly for the outside world. Eugene attempts to bribe Pulovski to protect Ackerman at all costs, but Pulovski rejects it, believing Ackerman to be capable of looking after himself.

Pulovski and Ackerman start listening to conversations in Strom's house through the bug Morales planted, and learn that Strom is planning to leave the country, after robbing a local casino out of two million dollars. Strom and his men set off gas bombs inside the casino and capture the owner, forcing him to open the vault for them. Inside the vault, however, are Pulovski and Ackerman, who had conspired with the owner to capture Strom and his gang. Unfortunately, Liesl, knowing of Ackerman's naïvete, dares Ackerman and distracts Pulovski long enough for Strom to pin Pulovski to the floor. Liesl shoots Ackerman in the back (although he plays dead thanks to his bulletproof vest), but they see that the vault is empty. With the police surrounding the building, Strom takes Pulovski hostage and demands the two million dollars as a ransom from the police in exchange for Pulovski's life. Ackerman is subsequently suspended for two weeks.

Ackerman, fed up of letting his friends and loved ones down, decides to take matters into his own hands, and goes off to look for Strom's men. He starts at the hooligans' bar, where he makes quick work of the hooligans and burns the bar down, before learning Little Felix's location from the bartender. Ackerman goes to Felix's laundrette, where he finds Felix already dead, having been betrayed and killed on Strom's orders. Loco himself emerges and almost kills Ackerman in a brutal fight which ends with the both of them falling out of the window. In the confusion, Loco escapes once again.

Strom phones the police and makes his demands, although it is revealed that he has no intention of returning Pulovski alive. Later on, while no one else is there, Liesl rapes Pulovski and tapes the whole thing as a memento for when they have left.

Ackerman turns to his father for help. He demands that Eugene provide the ransom money, and Eugene reluctantly accepts. Ackerman telephones his girlfriend, Sarah (Lara Flynn Boyle) at their home, who informs him that Garcia is there and waiting to speak to Ackerman. Just then, Ackerman is visited by two detectives, who claim that Garcia is at headquarters and sent them to retrieve him. Ackerman suddenly realises that there is only one man capable of passing himself as Garcia: Loco, with Ackerman's badge. Ackerman evades the detectives and races home, where he narrowly saves Sarah from Loco and fights the criminal, during which Sarah grabs Ackerman's gun and shoots Loco dead. Ackerman needed Loco alive, but forgives Sarah, who was clearly frightened. However, Ackerman manages to get a glimpse of Loco's car: a bizarre, light green-coloured one which he and Pulovski spotted at the local garage, where Pulovski is being held and where Strom is hiding.

Pulovski, just when the criminals are preparing to leave, manages to knock Liesl out, break free and kill one of Strom's men, Max, by breaking his neck, although the brief fight sends them falling on top of a lift. Strom and Liesl prepare to kill Pulovski, but Ackerman arrives and manages to chase them out of the garage. Ackerman rescues and frees Pulovski, and they escape the garage just as it explodes (Strom had rigged the building in order to destroy all evidence).

Pulovski and Ackerman capture Cruz, Strom's henchman sent to collect the ransom delivered by Eugene and Garcia, and hijack his van, forcing him to give them directions and call Strom. They arrive at the airport, where Cruz gives Strom the money and is killed in return. Infuriated, Pulovski and Ackerman open fire, and eventually chase them into the airport. Strom and Liesl split up at a forking, and Pulovski goes after Strom while Ackerman goes for Liesl. Ackerman eventually catches up with Liesl and shoots her dead.

Pulovski attempts to shoot Strom during their chase, but he is out of bullets, and Strom hears it. He shoots Pulovski in the stomach and prepares to finish him off when Ackerman arrives and shoots Strom in the chest, disabling him, although he himself is shot by Strom in the knee at the same time. Strom falls onto a conveyor belt, and Pulovski, to avenge Powell, finishes him off by shooting him in the forehead, despite Strom reminding Pulovski of his police duty to call an ambulance.

Sometime later, Garcia, Pulovski and Ackerman have all been promoted for bringing Strom down. Ackerman is now a detective, and Pulovski is the new Lieutenant. Pulovski makes another rookie cop, Heather Torres, Ackerman's new partner, and sends them on their first mission together: capturing a homicidal maniac.


*Charlie Sheen — David Ackerman
*Clint Eastwood — Nick Pulovski
*Raul Julia — Strom
*Sonia Braga — Liesl
*Tom Skerritt — Eugene Ackerman
*Lara Flynn Boyle — Sarah
*Pepe Serna — Lt. Ray Garcia
*Marco Rodríguez — Loco
*Pete Randall — Cruz
*Donna Mitchell — Laura Ackerman
*Xander Berkeley — Blackwell
*Tony Plana — Morales
*David Sherrill — Max
*Hal Williams — Powell
*Lloyd Nelson — Freeway Motorist
*Matt McKenzie — Inspector Wang


* Nick Pulovski is similar to another Clint Eastwood character, 'Dirty' Harry Callahan. Dirty Harry also has a reputation for getting partners killed, as well as one for murdering criminals.
* This film was released after the success of "Lethal Weapon;" although the film was not very well-received by critics, this is the only Eastwood film associated with the buddy-cop genre.
* Reportedly, Clint Eastwood initially planned the film to take place in London, England, but ideas were changed (see the cast list for the original names). One of the lines changed was Lon Martin's "Did you hear what that lousy poof just said about my car?" to Loco Martinez' "Did you hear what that fucking puto said about my car?".


ee also

*1990 in film

External links

*imdb title|id=0100514|title=The Rookie

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