You don't... Steal... A F*cking... COP CAR!
Star – Kevin Bacon
Genre – Drama
Run Time – 90 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – USA
Awards – 1 Wins & 4 Nominations
Amazon – £3.80 DVD £6.19 Blue Ray
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So here’s an enjoyable little dark and edgy B-Movie you guys should checkout, whether you enjoy that particular style of movie or not. It stars Kevin Bacon, not a stranger to B-Movies, and made one of the best in recent decades called Tremors. Bar the brilliant Footloose he is the sort of actor that can playa leading man anymore and so likes to take on intersecting and occasionally sadistic roles, this certainly that, a serial killing cop in the Mid West. Like Christopher Walken, Phillip Seymour –Hoffman and Guy Pearce, he has that seedy look now and so all playing villains in his middle years.
Kevin Bacon ... Sheriff Kretzer
James Freedson-Jackson ... Travis
Hays Wellford ... Harrison
Camryn Manheim ... Bev
Shea Whigham ... Man
Sean Hartley ... Motorcycle Cop
Kyra Sedgwick ... Dispatch (voice)
Two 10-year old kids and best buds Travis (James Freedson-Jackson) and Harrison (Hays Wellford)
appear to have run away from home and happily trekking across open maize fields, enjoying reciting as many swear words as they can in their new found freedom. Negotiating yet another wire fence they stumble upon a police patrol car on a sandy track hidden from view. Fearing the cops have tracked them down they hide in the long grass to scope out the car to see where the cops are. But they are not there and the boys are soon messing around with it, surprised that the doors are unlocked. Boys being boys they are soon trying out the sirens and messing with the radio.
Things take a turn for the more adventurous when the boys discoverer the keys and quickly learn how to drive, racing around the fields in first gear with the siren blazing. It’s their police car now as they hit the road to freedom - just seeing the road over the dash.
Pulling over for snacks and some Coke in another field they see what else is in the car, a worrying stash of loaded firearms and a defibulator the biggest threat to the naïve young ones lives right now.
Back at the gulley Sheriff Kretzer (Kevin Bacon) has arrived in another police car to find the other police car has gone. In the boot of his police car is a dead body, which he is going to bury in the gully. With the job done he begins to run towards the nearest settlement and set about finding his other police car.
Boosting a car in a local trailer park he is quickly on the road. Deploying a technique to clear the police channels he soon has an open one to his car. When he finally gets the boys to pick up the radio and figure out how to use it he gives them a dressing down but says they won’t be in trouble if they just tell him where they are so he can have his patrol car back. They agree to that request and give their location, a windmill identifying exactly where they are. But there is a sudden twist that puts everyone at risk when the bys hear banging in the trunk. The Sheriff told them not to look in the trunk.
To be fair there are a ton of plot holes in this movie but still a road worth travelling. Why he did not just track down the stolen police car with his police car is ahead scratcher. How come the kids can drive at 10-years-old? And soon and so on. But that’s the point with B-Movies. They are allowed some artistic license to create surreal or unusual situations that are off- kilter to mainstream feature films, two 10-year old white kids stealing a fully armed police cruiser certainly that. But it’s that quirkiness that makes this as appealing as the innocent kids adapt to their dangerous environment, and the growing threat of the psycho cop and the man he is after doubling the jeopardy. The open ending just adds to the director’s risk taking here.
After a gentle start as we get to know the kids vulnerabilities its Stand By me stuff as they get used to their police car. When Bacon arrives in the movie it takes a more sinister turn and Bacon’s hammy bad cop great fun. As always the child actors are brilliant and on of the great wonders of the world how kids can do that and put in these mature performances. I suppose it’s about the directing being able to take the pressure off the kids to get a performance because well-behaved kids, when it comes down to it, do what adults tell them to. And fair play to director Jon Watts, a real shining talent here, this only his third movie. I believe this movie secured him the new Spiderman movie gig.
For its $800.000 dollar budget it looks great but didn’t do much of that back as it was lost in the B-Movie graveyard publicity machine. But if you want something different that’s funny, edgy and abstract then this is for you, the definition of a grown up kids film. Its atmospheric as it is naughty and with no soundtrack and just the rustle of dry crops and the creak of old tin barns in the wind you cant help but be drawn to the films mischief making and how it will end. If Ren from Footloose had grown up bitter when the girls stopped looking he could well have grown up as serial killing cop in the plains of the Bible Belt. I’m all for fresh ideas and edgy genre teasing ideas on film and this is one of them. Well worth a look guys if you need a rest from romcoms and comic book mayhem.
Imdb.com – 6.3/10.0 (22,675votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 79% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 66% critic’s approval
-Cop Car Tour-
There are three police cars and we find out what kit a regulation one has in it.
Not that many.
-The Making Of-
One of those behind the scenes thing with no chat and just the crew and actors at work behind the scenes.
Globe & Mail –‘Watts walks us innocents out into the landscape where Hollywood has made its greatest myths and then removes the blindfold’.
Toronto Star –‘Anchored by solid performances and a taut script, Cop Car is a tension-filled thrill ride’.
The Mail –‘Despite the occasional pothole, Cop Car is an arresting ride’.
Chicago Sun Times –‘[Cop Car features] the most evil monologue of the year. Perfectly, horribly, fantastically chilling’.
Washington Post –‘"Cop Car" builds up a nice, suspenseful head of steam, mixing dark comedy and true creepiness in such a way that one mood never overwhelms the other’.
Brooklyn Movies –‘For the most part... this is what a b-movie should be: lean, mean, and filled with just enough longueurs to be evocative without slowing the pace’.
Baltimore Post –‘An impossibly sparse indie thriller with a cast of five and not much more going on that its title suggests - which is precisely why it works’.
The San Francisco Times –‘Driven by gorgeous visuals and a constant sense of unease, Cop Car is refreshing and an effortlessly entertaining little thriller.
The Final Frame –‘As an envoy for beautifully lonesome wide open spaces and pure slow-burn suspense, it rattles along with undeniable know-how’.