It moves for a non-action movie, with enough characters and engaging conversation to try to connect the web of lies surrounding the truth. Copshop does little to divert you from the main story, and continues to change the story amidst several parts of the police station to give you the full story, the way a good book does you know? By continuing to show these elements, they bait you into staying into the show to see how it plays out, refreshes your interest that time mostly seems to fly. Well done there!
Not Oscar worthy, and that is pretty much okay for a movie like this. Yet, they accomplish the goal of this crazy movie and make a go of creating a "colorful" cast of "heroes" so to speak. Frank Grillo has the conman role down, a teetering loyalty that you always question in his search for answers and survival. Gerard Butler brings his usual bag of intensity to the market, doing little to waiver from the intimidation factor he's made famous in 300 and the Fallen series. What's nice is that it's twisted in a slightly different manner and it works super well with the darker comedy aspect. Toby Huss brings a parodical nature to the role of a killer, a blend of funny, overemphasized accents, with cheesy lines and examples that is both terrifying and humorous at the same time. And the unsung hero is of course Alexis Louder, who takes the role of Val very ell in the dynamic she has to balance on profile. Strong women is there in all the right folds, but still realistic, Louder's portrayal runs the grounds of fun, laughs, and attitudes that is the central engine driving the bus. It's a fantastic central character and one that I did enjoy for the most part.
What else can I say about this, but they fulfilled the goal of bringing lots of characters in and practically using them in a meaningful way. Certainly there are extras with a limited inclusion, but for the most part Copshop accomplishes the goals of making sure there is a reason for them to be in the movie. It's smart writing and even more so respectful to the actors and players in the story so I give them props.
The Dark Comedy:
It's the bread and butter of this movie, Copshop is a semi-exciting adventure that does little to mirror the horrors of the dark underworld. Teddy's story is a twisted dance of morals, and everyone who gets dragged into the mess has to put themselves underneath the microscope and examine their own issues that life throws at them. Copshops story is certainly a big slice of irony, conveying double standards and balances of trust and just how incompetent some things in the modern age are. However, the writing itself supports this, and some of the hyperbolic descriptions and portrayals are hysterical to listen to. Though certainly a bit drier than the usual comedy, it works well in this movie at sort of pulling the dramatic veil off of this crime series and injecting a little fun with it. Even up to the last seconds of the film, that comedic tone remains and it was fun to watch with only going too much a few times for me.
The Language Aggression:
Not going to affect a lot of people, but with the comedic gold of straight up irony and dialogue, is only lost to me by an obsession with the F word in all its forms. Copshop does have the realistic nature of how a lot of anger and ire is shed, but for a movie that works a bit on the comedic poking, I'd have liked a little more effort to spice up the other elements I was enjoying in this film. Dark comedy does not always have to rely on an aggressive dialogue, and given some of the potential we saw with this movie, I could have been entertained with more of those irony moments mixed in different scenarios/ways.
The Story Elements:
There was again hope of a deeper lore beneath the visage of the con artists and killers, and it offered a lot of promise for some characters that were more interesting past the tough guy personage. While I can say they did hit some of these elements quite well, I can't say that it was entirely worth it in my opinion. Teddy's whole stakes are bult up more than they should be and even his backstory is only lackluster in the actual development skill level than I think it's worth in the end. Viddick's character is sort of the lone wolf style, mysterious and deeply dark, but again only hinted at in some fun dance that suggest a potential sequel if it does well enough. Yet where the story severely flops for me is the whole interconnected crime itself and just what is the whole involvement and big picture that involved so many people. Sure, I can put the clues together in a simple explanation that covers the bases, but after so much build up and stringing... the whole explanation is lost to the Dark comedy. It's disappointing to some degree, and I would have liked more to fleshing out the points of all the carnage to sort of up the stakes.
The movie does a decent job of setting up the premise for why there is so much carnage, but at the same time it's comedic twist also sometimes defies logic for the competence of several of the characters. Val manages to have more competence than most of her fellow officers, but even our shadier characters make stupid lapses in judgement that moments before were much sharper. Action wise, the movie does little to stroke that click, again taking a realistic take like Law and Order does in most of the episodes. While it is again a lead up to some funny moments and dialogue, the fact that the characters sort of break is not as entertaining to me.
Copshop was a nice surprise in terms of the comedic approach they took with a tried and true drama. Certainly not the wettest of the laughs, this film is all about stabbing at life and the irony we have as life hands us choices. With fun characters and parodies of titular titles, and writing that supports them super well, you will find a lot of the gold in the writing at this time. And while this is certainly the highlight of the movie, it's also the biggest hindrance in some of the other categories you might be looking for in a crime thriller. The action fits the rules they have established, but it does not have the bite or confidence that John Wick does, so don't expect that kind of carnage. Throw in the fact that the movie breaks the character's competence for more laughs is not something I enjoy as much anymore. Finally, the story itself is complete enough to get your thrills out, with a little help from your experience with other shows of the genre. However, for all the hints and petering about, I had hoped for connecting the pieces and diving a little more into exploiting the kryptonite of each character to really bring the story full circle. Overall, the movie is a nice surprise and worth a watch at home when it comes out in a few weeks.
Movie Overall: 6.0.
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