Copshop (2021)
Copshop (2021)

Genre: Action and Thriller Running Time: 1 hr. 47 min.

Release Date: September 17th, 2021 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Joe Carnahan Actors: Frank Grillo, Gerard Butler, Alexis Louder, Toby Huss, Ryan O’Nan, Chad L. Coleman, Robert Walker-Branchaud

 


 

A

s two Gun Creek City Police Department officers in Nevada chat about firearms and lunch, they’re called to an altercation at a wedding, held at a casino. First on the scene is Valerie Young (Alexis Louder), who is provoked into firing warning shots at the rowdy partygoers. But then she’s sucker-punched by attendee Theodore “Teddy” Murretto (Frank Grillo), who receives a prompt tasering. “Now which one of you wanna spend the night in county lockup?”

Once at the police station (or copshop, a slang term that absolutely no one in the film says or references), Valerie locates a bullet wound on Teddy, whom she suspects may have gotten himself arrested on purpose to receive free protection for a couple of nights. As it so happens, the authorities are still investigating the brutal slaying of Nevada Attorney General William Fenton, whose death might be tied to another temporary prisoner, Robert K. Viddick (Gerard Butler), brought in for drunk driving. And then there’s the issue of a dirty cop and his links to confiscated drugs, which further complicates the situation for everyone at the police headquarters.

The initial setup is moderately amusing, but it quickly devolves into a collection of generic supporting roles in generic crime-drama scenarios. The sergeant (Duane Mitchell, played by Chad L. Coleman) spouts orders and unfurls blasphemous tongue-lashes, always in a comically insulting manner; the young, tough, rookie female trooper is far more educated and capable than her years suggest; and the completely calm and confident assassin is permanently unconcerned about victims, targets, confinement, law enforcement, or life-and-death conundrums. Additionally, once Valerie teams up with Teddy, flashbacks are deemed necessary to fill audiences in on the events leading up to the arrests, fulfilling one of the most common and unoriginal of all storytelling designs. Plus, Teddy and Bob receive numerous opportunities to chronicle their sordid biographies through small talk. “I’m not a psychopath, Teddy. I’m a professional.”

A bit of action, a sequence or two of violence, and details of complicated corruption aim to build up a somewhat straightforward premise, especially when virtually all of the supporting performers are mere fodder for slaughterers. At least a couple of the villains are unusually quirky (Toby Huss as contract killer Anthony Lamb is quite cinematic), though they’re clearly the priority for the writers; the protagonists (or antiheroes, providing a dearth of sympathetic personas) aren’t nearly as interesting or unique. Ultimately, however, it’s still obvious who will come out on top; while borrowing sequences from “The Terminator” and “Assault on Precinct 13” and a wealth of other cop thrillers, this film fails to introduce anything remotely fresh. Yet even in its ordinariness, with a couple of shots drawn out beyond their ability to maintain consequence, “Copshop” poses modest entertainment value for those seeking sporadic death and destruction (and some needless torture), chaotic shootouts, and overly convenient last-minute solutions – as well as a hint of cathartic revenge. None of that is enough, however, to offset the terribly predictable finale, overflowing with malevolence and unrestrainedly unsatisfying resolutions.

– Mike Massie

  • 3/10