Title – Cop Car (2015)
Director – Jon Watts (Clown)
Cast – Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford, Shea Whigham
Plot – When young boys Travis (Freedson-Jackson) and Harrison (Wellford) take a seemingly abandoned cop car for a joy ride they set themselves up for an interesting day out as the car’s owner and local sheriff (Bacon) sets out to get back what is his and what’s hidden in it.
“You are in a whole lot of trouble”
Review by Eddie on 15/03/2016
Cop Car. Well they certainly got the title right! Cop Car is pretty much that, a movie centred on a couple of annoying runaway 10 year old boys that just happen to stumble upon an abandoned cop car in the middle of a seemingly deserted landscape. So, director Jon Watts delivers on his films title promise but the actual story it entails isn’t an overly interesting or engaging one.
With a B grade idea, Cop Car is the type of film you wish John Carpenter had made in his heyday and while it does entail some pretty hefty violence and dark humour that was prevalent in Carpenter’s most revered films, Watts film just doesn’t have the style or the characters to pull off a successful sustained run and Watts finds himself under increasing pressure to keep us glued to our seats, especially after a slow start and the annoyance levels of the two aforementioned 10 year olds.
James Freedson-Jackson as the cocky Travis and Hays Wellford as the more cautious Harrison sadly hurt the films entertainment levels and Cop Car can never really get out of its 1st or 2nd gear thanks to these two young actors taking up a bunch of the films screen time. Kevin Bacon (the poster boy for most of the movies advertising) has some good moments and some form of sweet running style to boot but it would’ve been great to have him in more menacing moments or just more screen time in general. The film is actually in many ways saved by the appearance of Boardwalk Empire mainstay Shea Whigham who continues to steal movies he appears in and his turn in Cop Car is no different. Delivering the film’s most impressively frightening moment entirely through dialogue, more Whigham would’ve been a massive boost to the films fortunes.
There’s some great moments of dark humour here (a concerned citizen a highlight) and some of the films later scenes seem cut from a much better movie but while Cop Car suggests director Jon Watts is a filmmaker to watch out for, this isn’t the film that will win him many new fans as it’s just not actually all that exciting and proof once more that when centring a film around kids, casting the right ones is paramount to success.
2 wandering cows out of 5