For years director Joe Carnahan has been
attached to a remake of Indonesian action film, The Raid. In press, he
has been insistent that it is a loose remake, because he has no intention of
making another film with a raid on a building, having already tackled that
premise for Smokin’ Aces. What is confusing to me is why instead of
remaking The Raid, Carnahan has made another film about a raid on a building,
with a set-up similar to Assault on Precinct 13.
opens with a grindhouse style that disappears after the title credits have
ended, only to inexplicably appear again for the end credits. We join con artist
and police informant Teddy Murretto (Frank Grillo) as he escapes a crime scene in
a bullet-ridden cop car. In order to evade whatever threat he is running from,
Murretto sucker-punches police officer Valerie Young (Alexis Louder) outside a
casino and is taken to the local police station.
as safe as he thinks in the police station, which is easily infiltrated by a
hired hitman named Bob Viddick (Gerard Butler), who pretends to be drunk in order
to get himself placed in holding beside the informant. Viddick isn’t the only
one aware of the valuable target behind bars, and a psychopathic hitman named
Anthony Lamb (Toby Huss) carries out a direct assault on the station. Lamb
initially enters under the guise of being a delivery man with balloons.
As little sense as it makes that
someone would deliver balloons to a police station, a Bugs Bunny balloon makes
it obvious that we are meant to draw a comparison between the Lamb and the
cartoon rabbit. The cartoonish approach to violence would have been more enjoyable
if the exact same gimmick hadn’t already been used by Clive Owen in the 2007
action film, Shoot ‘Em Up. This is the problem with Copshop; no
matter how fun the film may be, it continually gave me the feeling of déjà vu.
Actual déjà vu, not the made-up definition used in the film’s Tarantino-imitating
Copshop is an easy view, despite being
overlong. It is entertaining, so long as originality is not what you desire. There
are far better films. Watch The Raid, Assault on Precinct 13, Shoot
‘Em Up, Free Fire, or even Smokin’ Aces for more reliable entertainment.
Even Carnahan’s last film, Boss Level, had more base thrills than Copshop,
which is a bit talky in the first half for a movie that is imitating grindhouse
releases. This is not a bad film, but often feels like a bit of lazy filmmaking.
The Blu-ray release comes with three
ways to watch the film; high-definition disc, DVD, and a digital code for Movies
Anywhere. Special features are surprisingly lacking, especially give the
attention this film initially received.
Special Features: 4/10