Copshop movie poster
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Copshop
Copshop movie poster

Copshop Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

If the idea of a grimy and gritty action-thriller starring Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo gets you excited, and by excited I mean the kind of titillation that means you can’t stand up in front of your extended family for a while, then Copshop is a movie for you. For the rest of us, you could just as easily jump up, walk out of the room, and move on with your life.

From Joe Carnahan, who burst onto the scene way back in 2002 with the absolutely awesome Narc only to spend the next 20 years trying to regain that magic (despite some close calls, he hasn’t so far), Copshop is about a seedy dude who attempts to avoid death by getting arrested and put in a local jail--only to have several assassins follow him inside. It’s a movie where character motivations are ever-shifting, and where no one is safe.

At the movie’s core is neither Butler nor Grillo but Alexis Louder, the sole “good guy” in the film. She’s a badass to the core, and firm in her beliefs; even bullets won’t slow her down. While she is given equal weight to her costars, she deserved more screen time. And a better movie. Where her character breathes life into the production, the rest of the cast are just there to hang out. Gerard spends much of his screen time growling from a jail cell, while Grillo is equally forgettable. Toby Huss stands out a little once he shows up, but is there a single thing memorable about him other than he is good at killing people?

Copshop feels like a blend between Assault on Precinct 13 and Smokin’ Aces, only without the suspense of Precinct or the color of Aces. The latter, by the way, was also directed by Carnahan.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Aces, but Copshop needed more of that film’s kinetic energy and willingness to go balls to the wall. As is, Carnahan gets trapped in No Man’s Land; the movie hints at zaniness without ever really going there, while getting muddled by lots of stuff happening that plays a little too serious, even if done accidentally.

Not bad so much as it is mediocre, Copshop will appeal to a particular type of person, but even then, is there anything special here to make it worth seeing? It’s certainly not worth getting excited about, if you know what I mean.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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