Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

General

COP CAR (review)

Review by Sharon Knolle
Produced by Cody Ryder, Alicia Van Couvering,
Sam Bisbee, Andrew Kortschak, Jon Watts
Written by Jon Watts, Christopher Ford
Directed by Jon Watts
Starring Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, 
Hays Wellford, Camryn Manheim, Shea Whigham

Cop Car gets maximum mileage out of this simple premise: Two boys take an abandoned police car for a joyride.

Director and cowriter Watts (who based the story on a recurring dream he had as a child) was inspired by the Coen Brothers’ first film, Blood Simple, and he hits the mark squarely in that darkly funny, brutal territory.

Clocking in at a brisk 86 minutes, the films begins with two 10-year-old boys – Travis (James Freedson-Jackson) and Harrison (Hays Wellford), who’ve run away from home. As they traverse the empty fields of a desolate-looking Colorado Springs, they swear and poke sticks into a snake hole, delighting in all things they shouldn’t be doing. 



Their small rebellions grow monumentally bigger when they stumble on a police car parked in the middle of nowhere. Once they realize there’s no policeman in sight, they dare each other just to touch the car; soon they’re playing driver in the front seat and when they discover the car keys, they can’t resist taking it for a ride.

Of course, they have no idea what they’ve set in motion.

That’s when we flashback to how the car ended up there: Crooked Sheriff Kretzer (Kevin Bacon, sporting a brilliantly perverse mustache) is there to dispose of evidence of his illegal activities. He’s halfway through when he discovers the car is gone. Of course he can’t simply report it missing, but he’s soon on the trail of the boys, frantically trying to cover his tracks.

The boys’ adventure quickly escalates into nightmare when they discover what Kretzer’s got in the trunk: If they were a few years older, they’d be better equipped to deal with Kretzer’s manipulations, but their naivete only makes them more vulnerable.

Bacon gives one of his most enjoyable performances as Kretzer; It’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role of the wily, crooked cop.

In the film’s final moments as he relentlessly pursues the boys, he invokes such classic movie boogiemen as Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter.  This year, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Seattle Film Festival and it’s definitely high time he got more recognition. This might not be the film to earn him awards glory, but after 30 years, he seems long overdue.

Watts and Ford’s next film is called Barn Man, about a small town drunk who finds a magical creature living in a barn, and they’re planning sequels to their first film, Clown.

Unfortunately, after that, Watts is directing the wholly unnecessary Spider-Man reboot. His talent with young actors gives me hope, but I wish he’d keep making solid thrillers like this one.

Cop Car is now playing in theaters
Available On Demand and Digital HD August 14, 2015

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

DISCLAIMER

Forces of Geek is protected from liability under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and “Safe Harbor” provisions.

All posts are submitted by volunteer contributors who have agreed to our Code of Conduct.

FOG! will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement.

Please contact us for expeditious removal of copyrighted/trademarked content.

SOCIAL INFLUENCER POLICY

In many cases free copies of media and merchandise were provided in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. The opinions shared on Forces of Geek are those of the individual author.

You May Also Like

Movies

Beverly Hills Cop (1984) is a perfect film: an inverse of the “country bumpkin coming to the big city” trope that goes back to...

Movies

As far as horror films go, Longlegs has been one of the most anticipated horror films of 2024, not least thanks to its enigmatic...

Movies

As we close out the 60s, there seems to be no end to the Cold War. The current stakes are literally to the moon...

Movies

Shout! Select proudly presents the Jody Hill comedy Observe and Report on Blu-Ray this August 18. The comedy arrives at the scene with a...