Copshop (2021)

JOE CARNAHAN

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB

USA, 2021. , , , , . Story by , , Screenplay by Kurt McLeod, Joe Carnahan. Cinematography by . Produced by , Joe Carnahan, , , , , , , Mark Williams. Music by . Production Design by . Costume Design by . Film Editing by .

Jack Carnahan attempts a pared-down reboot of Assault On Precinct 13 that has its moments but never quite gets off the ground. Nevada police officer Valerie Young () is called to a casino where Teddy Murretto (Frank Grillo) is causing a stir, throwing a punch at the police officer and getting himself thrown in jail for his troubles. Not long after he is locked up, Bob Viddick (Gerard Butler) drives his car into a bunch of police vehicles and also gets himself arrested, and it doesn’t take long for Officer Young to figure out that both of these men went out of their way to get themselves placed behind bars.

Forcing a confession from Murretto, Young finds out that he was a fixer for the casino’s mob boss who got himself in trouble with the law and is now being forced by the Feds to inform on his buddies. Viddick, he tells her, has been sent to take care of him, but before she can even think about what to do with this situation, a third, much more explosive situation finds its way to her front door: Anthony Lamb () guns down every cop in the precinct and makes his way down to the sealed-off holding cells where these three characters are having their conversation, and is determined not to leave until he takes the life of everyone who crosses his path.

The plot really finds its momentum with Huss’s arrival, it’s a series of bland and familiar character types until his familiar but fun supervillain comes on the scene and really gets things going, wiping away the memory of a convoluted set-up and some very unsuccessful bids to recreate the sharp and witty parlance of Tarantino movies (characters arguing over the meaning of “déjà vu”, for instance, isn’t nearly as memorable as the movie hopes you think it is). What keeps it from entering the hall of grindhouse fame is that it’s a cheaply made film that looks cheap, the effects are bad, a lot of the violence feels staged and the sets look threadbare and hastily put together, the world of this film (small as it is) is not convincing and this takes away a great deal of the dramatic power of its action set pieces.

The actors never let this stand in their way of giving fully committed performances, however, Louder in particular has to struggle with some badly written dialogue but her charisma carries her through. Butler has definitely seen better days, but his once jovial alpha male persona has merely been downgraded to a pleasant and well-meaning schlub, and Grillo never lets his bad hair or completely underwritten character phase him.  Huss, whose character is meant to steal the show but is a pastiche of everything from Hannibal Lecter to Arthur Fleck and everything in between, just allows himself to have a good time. Despite all the film’s flaws, you will too.

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