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Rampart (2011) - Plot Summary Poster

(2011)

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  • Dave Brown is a Los Angeles police officer who works out of the Rampart Division. Dave is misogynistic, racist, brutally violent, egotistical and a womanizer, although he defends himself against many of these accusations as he says that his hate is equal opportunity. However unlawful, he uses intimidation and brutal force to defend his ideals. The most notorious of his actions is purportedly murdering a suspected serial date rapist, which is why he has been given the nickname "Date Rape Dave". He lives with two of his ex-wives - sisters Barbara and Catherine - in an effort to keep family together, namely his two daughters, Helen and Margaret, who each have a different sister as their mother. Dave still maintains a sexual relationship with both sisters - whenever the mood suits any of them - while he openly has other sexual relationships. His life is put under a microscope after he is caught on video brutally beating a person with who he got into an automobile crash. This situation is made all the more difficult for the police department because of the Rampart scandal. This microscope shows a further potentially scandalous incident involving Dave and a grocery store hold-up. Although he secretly has his defenders within the police department highers-up, Dave, who is unrepentant regarding his actions, has to figure out who he can and cannot trust among his colleagues and new associates as he goes about his business and tries to protect his ideals from being taken away by these scandals.

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  • In 1999, in Los Angeles, the brutal, racist and womanizer Police Officer David "Dave" Douglas Brown works at the Rampart Division. He lives with his dysfunctional family composed by the ex-wives Catherine and Barbara and his two daughters Margaret and Helen in the same house. Dave frequently goes to single bars to have one night stand with lonely women. He was accused in the past of executing a rapist but was considered not-guilty. When his police car is crashed by a Mexican driver, the man runs and Dave brutally beats him but is filmed on video. Now the Rampart Division is being prosecuted while the Internal Affairs is investigating Dave. He spends his savings with the lawyers and needs to raise money. What will Dave do?

  • Set in 1999 Los Angeles, veteran police officer Dave Brown, the last of the renegade cops, works to take care of his family, and struggles for his own survival.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • Nothing fascinates like a dirty cop. In real life they're terrifying, but in the movies their upending of law and order can open deep explorations of psychology, morality and violence.

    So meet Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson), Brown is a cop long ago unleashed from the rules of the Los Angeles Police Department. Roving the streets in his black-and-white cruiser, he governs and punishes at will. His home life is a riddle. Somehow he has fathered children with two sisters (Anne Heche and Cynthia Nixon). Somehow he still lives casually with them both, slipping in and out of a family life that's as tangled as his long career on the force. His own daughter calls him Date Rape. That's because, years ago, Brown may have killed a rapist and gotten away with it. The shadow of the incident still haunts him, so when his Rampart division gets caught up in a corruption scandal, Brown makes an easy target. As the controversy seeps through the department and into city hall, this hardened, reckless officer finds himself at the centre of a sordid L.A. story.

    Following up on his Academy Award ® nominated The Messenger, writer/director Oren Moverman assembles an impressive team of talent for Rampart. The script is co-written by crime fiction legend James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential). The cast includes Ben Foster (also in The Messenger), Robin Wright, Sigourney Weaver, Steve Buscemi and Ice Cube.

    Although based on a real LAPD scandal from the nineties, Rampart easily transcends reportage.

    Cameron Bailey, Co-Director of the Toronto International Film Festival

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