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TV REVIEW : A Watered-Down 'Nasty Boys'

September 22, 1989|IRV LETOFSKY | Times Staff Writer

The Nasty Boys, an undercover, SWAT-like police squad out of North Las Vegas, make sensations out of themselves in their drug-busting exploits, what with ninja-type clothes and black masks. They do promo spots for TV and sing a rap tune.

Kids idolize them up as the new Batmen.

Now, with TV always in hot pursuit for heroes who can be encapsulated into pilot movies, then maybe a series, the Boys have been copied for NBC. "Nasty Boys" (at 9 tonight on Channels 4, 36 and 39) is executive-produced by Dick Wolf, written by Wolf and David Black and directed by Richard Rosenthal ("Bad Boys"). The lads are Benjamin Bratt, Craig Hurley, Don Franklin, Jeff Kaake and James Pax.

The result is a trip through the Hollywood Cuisinart. What was sensational has been peeled, shredded, chopped, grated and julienned. It is now a pure puree.

The Boys are clever and nice by twice. They are beautiful and dress so cool, which is like a curse leftover from Michael Mann. The performances are walk-throughs. The writing is cliche and riddled with holes that you can drive a police van through.

For truth in television, the reviewer called an original Boy, Jim Jackson, now a homicide detective who consulted on the movie. He said that the film's love triangle, the federal drug agency leak, the massacre of one tactical squad and the assassination of the officer of the Boys were concoctions.

And, no, the real Boys aren't pretty, as portrayed here. They come in widely diverse ages, sizes and shapes. They'd make a nice movie.

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