A series of mishaps manages to make a young man get chased by a big city's entire police force.A series of mishaps manages to make a young man get chased by a big city's entire police force.A series of mishaps manages to make a young man get chased by a big city's entire police force.
Arguably Buster Keaton's finest two-reeler, Cops is the perfect distillation of the appeal of this gifted artist. One cannot help but feel great sympathy for the lead character, all the while laughing at his unfortunate circumstances. Yet in the midst of being suckered out of his (stolen) fortune and finding himself wrongly suspected of an act of terrorism, Buster never for a minute expresses a hint of self pity. He brilliantly deals with the circumstances as they unfold while his face exudes a calmness and confidence that seem quite contradictory to the madness that surrounds him. See how he calmly handles finding himself in the middle of a giant parade of police officers and how he nonchalantly lights his cigarette with a terrorist's bomb. The audience breathlessly tries to keep up with Keaton as he navigates an obstacle course strewn with hundreds of well-choreographed cops. With impeccable timing he seems to improvise his way through it using the many tools available to him, most notably his quick wit. Every second of this film is wonderfully entertaining. The ending is typical Keaton - satisfying and very funny. This is the perfect introduction to Buster Keaton and silent films in general.
- Jan 21, 2000
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