• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

Non-Review Review: Copshop

Copshop is a loving and pulpy throwback to old-fashioned seventies b-movies, that simply doesn’t know when to quit.

Copshop operates very firmly within the comfort zone of everybody involved. Director Joe Carnahan has made a name for himself as a director of these sorts of high-concept thrillers. Stars Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo both seem perfectly at home glowering at each other across a police station cell block, separated from one another by two sets of bars. Watching Copshop, the film plays as a slight tweak on the basic concept that has made Assault on Precinct 13 an enduring cult hit: an isolated and under-staffed police station finds itself unde rsiege and stuck with a dangerous criminal.

The Butler did it.

There’s a compelling simplicity to Copshop, with the movie building outwards from a solid premise, and understanding the appeal of these sorts of movies. Carnahan imbues the film with an appealing nastiness and cynicism that feels appropriate for this kind of genre throwback. Most of the runtime of Copshop finds its protagonist, Officer Valerie Young, forced to choose between the lesser of two evils as the situation steadily escalates around her. For most of the film’s runtime, Carnahan commits to this meanness in a manner that is often lacking from these sorts of throwbacks and tributes.

Unfortunately, Copshop somewhat falls apart in its final ten minutes, as the film seems unable to settle on a single satisfying ending and so instead cycles through at least three different climaxes hoping that one of them might stick. The movie’s bombastic and over-stuffed third act is a frustrating conclusion to a film that worked to that point largely because of its minimalism and its restraint.

On the chain.

Continue reading