Hey action fans: want to turn off your brain for a couple of hours and have a bloody good time? “Copshop,” director Joe Carnahan‘s grisly, profanity-laced homage to 70s crime flicks, isn’t going to make an impact on the genre, but it’ll satisfy low (emphasis on low) expectations. This story of one very, very bad night in a rural Nevada desert police station is forgettable yet entertaining, especially if you like ruthless characters and lots of savage gunplay.
Lifer con artist Teddy (Frank Grillo) is desperate to find a safe hideout from lethal hitman Bob Viddick (Gerard Butler). Out of options, he devises a plan to get locked up by punching rookie officer Valerie (Alexis Louder). It works, and Teddy is taken to the station and held in a small cell. Word somehow reaches Viddick, who gets himself thrown in, too. Taunting each other from adjacent cells, the two men are forced to work together when a psychopath competitor (Toby Huss) arrives, hell-bent on killing everyone in sight. Mayhem ensues, and nobody in the police station is likely to survive the night.
It’s a simple story with an unpretentious setting, and co-screenwriters Carnahan and Kurt McLeod include enough brutality and nastiness to give the film an appropriate grittiness that keeps it interesting. The performances are nothing more than adequate, all that’s needed for material like this. Huss is the most enjoyable with his unhinged, caricature-like performance.
“Copshop” is a modern take on classic films from the genre. Staying true to its roots, it’s extremely bloody and violent, so it’s not for those with weak stomachs.
By: Louisa Moore