In Too Deep (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
In Too Deep
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Rymer
Produced by Paul Aaron
Michael Henry Brown
Written by Michael Henry Brown
Paul Aaron
Starring Omar Epps
LL Cool J
Stanley Tucci
Pam Grier
Nia Long
Music by Christopher Young
Edited by Dany Cooper
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release dates
August 25, 1999
Running time
104 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $17,000,000 (estimated)
Box office $14,000,678

In Too Deep is a 1999 American crime-thriller-drama film written by Michael Henry Brown and Paul Aaron, and directed by Michael Rymer and starring Omar Epps, LL Cool J, Stanley Tucci with Pam Grier and Nia Long.


Undercover cop Jeffrey Cole (Omar Epps) is a recent graduate of the Cincinnati police academy who dreams of working undercover. Cole manages to get an undercover assignment the day of graduation and earns the praise of his superiors. Good at earning the trust of small-time drug dealer, Cole is given the task of taking down statewide crack dealer Dwayne Gittens (LL Cool J), an underworld boss so powerful that his nickname is "God". Gittens is known as a family man and a man of the people, contributing to his community and helping those in need. However, there is another side to him, a ruthless leader of a criminal empire who will torture or kill anyone without question. Gittens controls eighty percent of the drug traffic in Cincinnati, Ohio, controls many of his opponents through bribery or intimidation, and appears to be untouchable. Building up his skills and credentials as an effective undercover officer, Cole earns the praise and adoration from his superiors, and he is eventually assigned to undercover work in the case against Gittens.

Cole goes undercover, posing as a drug dealer under the name of J. Reid from Akron, Ohio is determined to be the man who brings down Gittens underworld empire. Cole has to prove he has street cred to gain a place in God's crew. At one point God sends Cole out on a mission with a couple of his cohorts with the intention of Cole killing a man that God wants dead. Trapped in that position, Cole goes along and has to find a way not to kill this man, but not blow his cover. This on the car ride over. What he does is chase the man firing shots at him, but misses intentionally. Thus the crew believe he's loyal, but has bad aim. Cole eventually becomes close with one of the members of Gittens' crew, Breezy T. (Hill Harper). Later on, Cole eludes and assassination attempt by members of Gittens' crew that he was with earlier. Cole goes to Breezy T., thinking that he was set up by Breezy or God. Once Breezy advises that he had nothing to do with that, nor did Gittens, and the guys acted on their own accord, Cole leaves.

Cole's superiors are impressed at his undercover work and how close he has gotten to Gittens, earning his trust while providing his superiors with intricate details into Gittens' organization. Cole's superior, Preston D'Ambrosio (Stanley Tucci) worries that the line between cop and bad guy is getting blurred and that both identities are becoming one. He begins to see behavioral changes in Cole, as more and more, Cole starts to assume the J. Reid identity, and D'Ambrosio believes that Cole is getting too far deep undercover that, characteristically and morally, he may not be able to recover from. Because of this, D'Ambrosio places Cole on forced hiatus from undercover and sends him to a place in the woods far from the city to get his head straight and re-discover himself.

During that time, Cole rediscoveres his identity and meets Myra (Nia Long), an aspiring model during one of Cole's photography classes. The two eventually begin dating and D'Ambrosio (who checks in on Cole from time to time) begins to take notice of his new life away from undercover work. Cole tries to convince D'Ambrosio to let him go back undercover in the Gittens case, to no avail. D'Ambrosio is too concerned for Cole becoming the J. Reid moniker and losing his identity for good. D'Ambrosio is eventually overruled by District Attorney Daniel Connelly (Jake Weber) and Rick Scott (David Patrick Kelly), reasoning that Cole is the only undercover cop to infiltrate Gittens crew as deep as he has, and Cole is the person who can bring down Gittens' organization. Cole is then reassigned to the Gittens case. Myra, realizing that he has to go back undercover, begins to distance herself from Cole.

As Cole becomes J. Reid once again, he becomes reacquainted with Gittens. Cole starts to see Gittens becoming unhinged and his sporadic violence in the community (with one example, Gittens beating a man and woman in the streets in broad daylight with his infant son and Cole in the car), going as far as beating one of his close associates with a pool stick and ramming the stick up the guy's ass, killing the man for making a pass at his baby's mother. The ruthlessness starts to get to Cole, as he dives deeper into his J. Reid cover. The further Cole goes undercover, the more his identities and loyalties are blurred between Jeffrey Cole, the undercover officer, and J. Reid, the gangster from Akron that has earned Gittens full trust. Because of this, Cole begins to alienate himself from his superiors, his fellow officers, and even Myra, as Cole begins to lose reality of who he is, becoming more and more the J. Reid gangster.

D'Ambrosio wants to pull Cole out of undercover again, as he sees his officer becoming unhinged and becoming J. Reid. Connelly and Scott disagree, and they come up with a sting to bust Gittens meeting with his suppliers, to which D'Ambrosio eventually agrees after Cole convinces him the importance of this sting. During the sting, where Cole and Gittens are meeting with Gittens' suppliers, the police arrive to arrest Gittens and the suppliers. A gunfight ensues, with the police and Gittens. Gittens advises his crew to lower their weapons and surrender (advising that his lawyers will get them out and a shootout with police is futile). Cole shields Gittens from police and a standoff ensues between the officers and an unhinged Cole, struggling between his loyalties. Realizing he is losing himself, Det. Angela Wilson (Pam Grier) talks him down and reminds him that he is Jeffrey Cole, not J. Reid, and to lower his weapon. Cole eventually gets a hold of himself and lowers his gun. As Gittens is being read his Miranda rights, Scott requests Cole to bring Gittens in (and exposes Cole's identity as an undercover cop). Gittens, in disbelief, denies all allegations that Cole is an undercover cop. Eventually Gittens realizes magnitude of the situation and that J. Reid is a cop; Gittens calls Cole a sellout, and leaves in police custody.

During trial, Cole (now out of undercover and back to his normal identity) testifies against Gittens and his organization. Cole puts in a good word for Breezy T., helping him reduce his sentence. Because of the evidence against him and Cole's testimony, Gittens is convicted and sentence to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Gittens and Cole share a final glance before Gittens is taken away.

As Connelly and Scott hold a press conference for the conviction of Gittens (taking credit for Cole's undercover work in the process), Cole and Myra (assumed to be back together) are driving and listening to the press conference. Cole switches off the radio, while Myra reminds Cole that his undercover work was the sole reason Gittens is behind bars. The last scenes are shown where Cole is teaching new young officers about undercover work, and the importance to never lose their cover or get too deep.



The movie had mixed reviews.[1][2]

Box office[edit]

The movie recouped its budget.[3]


A soundtrack containing hip hop music was released on August 24, 1999 by Columbia Records. It made it to No. 28 on the Billboard 200 and No. 8 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and featured 50 Cent's debut single, "How to Rob".

Relevant info[edit]

This movie was based on a book about the takedown of a Boston ganglord named Darryl Whiting but born Duane O. Gittings hence the nickname GOD.

Jeffrey Coy's living children have not received any help or assistance since his death. Any proceeds received by his only surviving sibling as a result of Jeffrey's death (police retirement, movie, SSI, soundtrack, etc.), have not been seen by Jeffrey's children.


External links[edit]