... honest cops and whore houses.
If you harken to Actual Reality, we have come a long way among enforcers of the law. Borrowing from "Serpico," the true story of an honest cop, "LA Confidential" places an honest detective among detective bureau sharks who live as much from payoffs and brutality as from salary.
The head of detectives, with an entrepreneurial glint, sizes up a whore house operation as a good investment later on, exploiting the operator's plan to have the ladies in the garb and makeup of Hollywood greats. A glamorized hostess for the impending Eden is Kim Basinger, who won an Academy Award for supporting actress.
There is generally an awareness of the styles of other police epics -- Lena Wertmueller's "Love and Anarchy" that portrayed a policeman's forgetting his mission because of the blandishments of a prostitute.
The diminutive Danny diVito is a quandam PR man and then scandal sheet publisher to become a news item himself. The straight arrow among detectives, Guy Pearce, finds his way to the whore house to prove that everyone in the bureau has a hang-up.
Violence has its innings in a big shoot-'em-up at the end, Armageddon style.