By Vernor Rodgers
Find out where it's playing
"Copshop" is a decent thriller-drama that
succeeds is creating ambiguity on who to trust and root for while
spotlighting the courage of one character sworn to uphold what the
Gerard Butler is a second-tier
action star, quite good at what he does but has not achieved the
revered status of a top-grade talent like Vin Diesel, Dwayne
Johnson or Jason Statham. Still Butler has enough muscle to be an
executive producer of his projects, thus can send out such
shoot-em-ups like "Copshop." Butler essentially shares screen time
with Frank Grillo, from a couple of the "Purge" movies and promising
actress Alexis Louder, set to be featured in the TV series "The
"Copshop," directed and
co-written --with Kurt McLeod -- by Joe Carnahan ("The A Team") pits
Gerard as professional hitman Bob Viddick against Grillo as con man
Teddy Murreto, a man with a price tag on his head. On the run,
Murreto quickly improvises by assaulting Valerie Young (Louder), a
rookie in a small-town police force, thus getting himself arrested
and hopefully safely installed in a jail cell. But Viddick uses the
same strategy, pretending to be a DUI with no identification and
thus also is thrown into the same jail -- but different cells -- as
Meanwhile, Young, who seems to
be the only person in uniform at the station with any competence,
does some digging and learns about Viddick. All too soon another
hitman, Anthony Lamb (Toby Huss), a real whacko with a warped sense
of humor, arrives at the police station and turns it into a
slaughterhouse. Now trapped in the jail ward with Viddick and
Murreto, and seriously wounded, Young must decide whether to trust
Viddick and let him loose so he can carry out his job, or heed
warnings from Murreto that Viddick will just as routinely kill her.
She doesn't have much time, as she is bleeding out and Lamb,
assisted by a crooked cop, is about to break his way into the jail
The is a lot of gunfire in this
movie and Young proves to be resourceful but has to recover from
some bad decisions.
A beef with "Copshop" is that it
has a side plot regarding corruption within the small town's law
enforcement hierarchy that seems to be an attempt to throw some
twists into the movie but ultimately serves no purpose.
Luckily, an ambiguous ending
leaves the audience speculating on how Young is going to handle the
aftermath of all this brutal and deadly chaos.
COPSHOP" Official Trailer:
It was 13 years ago when word
came out that Clint Eastwood's role as the crusty Walt Kowalski in
"Gran Torino" was going to be his swan song as an actor. He still
planned to direct but the indications were he was now firmly
dedicated to working solely behind the camera.
So much for that. He played
baseball scout Gus in "Trouble with the Curve" in 2012, the drug
hauler Earl Stone in "The Mule" in 2018 and now aside from directing
"Cry Macho" has the leading role.
"Cry Macho" is based upon the
novel by N. Richard Nash, who co-wrote the screenplay with Nick
Schenk, and the title aside, it is really a gentle movie about
getting another shot at life.
Taking place in the late 1970s,
Eastwood is Mike Milo, a former rodeo legend until a broken back
ended that career. Dealt further tragedy when his wife and son are
killed in an accident, Milo now is a washed up horse breeder and
heavy drinker. The only thing keeping him from total destitution is
his friendship with his ex-boss, Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam), who
keeps him from being homeless.
When Polk asks a favor of Milo,
the old man cannot turn it down. But it isn't going to be easy. Polk
asks Milo to travel to Mexico to fetch Howard's teen son Rafo
(Eduardo Minett), who is in the custody of his alcoholic mother and
Milo has little trouble tracking
down the mother, Leta (Fernanda Urrejola), who appears to be living
a pretty ritzy life, but she displays the emotional instability of
the alcohol addled. She gives Milo a lead on where Rafo might be --
the cock fights -- and says, go ahead, take him to the United
States. But upon Rafo being tracked down by Milo, Leta orders one of
her henchmen to follow Milo and reclaim the boy.
Rafo, pretty much alienated from
his mother, lives on the streets and his only possession is his
cockfight rooster, Macho. It is the rooster that is the toughest
character in the movie.
Indeed it is startling to see
Eastwood, now in his 90s, walking around stiffly, no longer able to
kick some ass. He does punch one guy, but it is the rooster that is
the enforcer here.
Rafo is eager to go live with
his father, although he does have trust issues, understandably so.
But the trip north has its problems. Milo's truck is stolen and the
replacement vehicle Mike and Rafo obtain (Rafo claims that stealing
cars is an accepted custom in Mexico), turns out to be a piece of
The breakdown of the car proves
to be a twist of good fate. Mike and Rafo temporarily hole up in a
small town, where they are befriended by Marta (Natalia Traven), a
widowed woman who owns a local cafe and is raising her parentless
granddaughters. While the friendship between Mike and Marta grows
stronger, Mike also starts to fit in when he helps a local horse
seller tame the wild horses that have been captured. He also helps
Rafo prepare for life on his father's ranch by teaching the teen how
to ride. Soon, townsfolk are bringing their ailing animals to Mike
for treatment, as Mike says they must think he is Dr. Doolittle.
The bond between Mike and Rafo
hits bumps along the way but ultimately their shared goal of
crossing the border to get into the United States, where Howard will
meet them, grows strong.
"Cry Macho" is definitely a
feel-good movie. It is not likely to earn accolades like some of
Eastwood's earlier directorial efforts, but it is a well-crafted and
well-acted character study.
CRY MACHO" Official Trailer: