Spoilers don’t play with guns.
It’s been a while since I’ve watched a movie just for fun. And yes, this one’s scratched that itch, despite the fact that it’s flawed. There is both potential and ruin in the decisions taken, but at the same time I think it holds your attention and rewards you for it. The material is derivative, because every source does take inspiration from movies before it. Although you could argue similar premises have been executed better, perfection is not the ideal.
Copshop (2021) was directed by Joe Carnahan based on a his screenplay written with Kurt McLeod. A con man on the run, Teddy (Frank Grillo) gets himself put in jail when he assaults rookie police officer Valerie Young (Alexis Louder). However, that doesn’t save him from the pursuit of hitman Bob Viddick (Gerard Butler). I have to also mention second hitman and psychopath Anthony Lamb (Toby Huss) because he’s the late character that really unleashes hell in the second half.
There’s a lot of things that works. Alexis Louder’s does a great job as badass officer Valerie Young, and I would argue she’s the real protagonist. The only injustice done to her character is when one of her colleagues tells her that she does something badass. That’s obviously the film making sure that the audience got the message, but it’s not needed: she was doing fine. I did appreciate that she makes a mistake with the shot that gets her, showing she can fail. On the other hand the gunplay game between her and Peña (Jose Pablo Cantillo) is childish and proves there’s no responsible gun owners among the filmmakers.
Teddy Murretto (Frank Grillo) feels setup as the protagonist initially. I didn’t see him really as a con man, I expected some smooth talking skills or squirrelly behaviour. That being said, he mostly does a good job although I hardly believe his character taking on a vengeful attitude for the third act. There’s a moment where we have Murretto spilling his guts with a lot of exposition that doesn’t really add anything here. That being said, Grillo doesn’t get first billing. That honor befalls onto Gerald Butler in the role of hitman Bob Viddick. Butler does a good job in the initial introduction when Viddick gets into the police station and the obvious reveal that he’s there to kill Teddy. It’s just that I never see the payoff of him being an actual threat later on after that.
To be honest, the real scary threat of the film appears when Anthony Lamb (Toby Huss) walks into the police station. He’s not subtle, he’s not playing the long game, he’s a psychopath who shoots first and acts crazy later. If there was any intention of making anybody else appear like the antagonist, it disappears the moment that Lamb starts his killing spree. I’m not sure if the intention was to have either Murretto or Viddick be the real threat. If there was, it doesn’t work. Lamb is the one that brings the real noise.
Recommended as an action flick with reservations. I feel like switching the character focus just slightly would work better. However, it does have a lot of entertainment value to fill most of its runtime. There’s a little tidbit of irresponsible gun play that feels out of place for police officers and unneeded exposition that doesn’t add much. It also has that thing where it seems to tack on a couple of additional endings just for the fun of it. Perhaps worth a watch with friends, popcorn or both.
That will do for now.