Saturday, July 2, 2016
COP CAR (2015)
Directed By: Jon Watts
Written By: Jon Watts & Christopher Ford
Cinematography By: Matthew J. Lloyd & Larkin Seiple
Editor: Megan Brooks & Andrew Hasse
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Camryn Manheim, Shea Whigham, Hayes Wellford, James Freedson-Jackson
A pair of ten-year-olds find an abandoned cop car in a field. When they take it for a joyride, it seems like they could kill themselves at any moment. But things only get worse when the small town sheriff goes looking for his missing car. The kids find themselves in the center of a deadly game of cat and mouse they don't understand and the only way out is to go as fast as their cop car can take them.
First things first, The ambiguous ending seems cruel or like it couldn't make up it's mind about which dark direction it wanted to go in.
The film starts innocently enough though tries to let the audience know there will be be some more adult related stuff in the film. Which at first seems playful then slowly gets more and more serious as the film goes along. As we slowly see what is actually going on. As the kids ride around having fun and play oblivious to what they are in the middle of.
Kevin bacon comes off as funny at first. It is probably the oversized mustache with, until we see how properly vicious he is, plus exactly how dirty he is. Once the kids make a new discovery the film asks the audience like the kids to question who is the hero? The dirty seeming sheriff? or the person they come upon?
The film has an expertly crafted impulse control throughout the scene as they are always filled with danger and cause our imagination into exhaustion as the kids constantly seem to be in trouble or danger that they aren't aware of from themselves as they play with their new toys such as guns, Stun guns, machine guns, shot guns. Pointing them at themselves or each other. While the sheriff tracks them down.
Just as you know Kevin Bacon's character is a dirty cop, but the film makes you constantly wonder if heel is capable of decency or just pure evil. Just as we are learning the question as to anther characters guilt or innocence.
The films second half always seems to have more of a sense of menace especially as in the first half of the film is the more innocent side, the second half is the more violent and unpredictable one. As the film goes places you didn't think it would.
The film tells a tight story, that plays with time as an explanation of the structure in an interesting way. So that we understand everything.
As the film goes along. It is obvious it is setting up for a confrontation in the climax. We just wonder what exactly the confrontation will end up being between.
The films desolate locations leaves a sense of openness and alienation. Though the kids act tough they are as innocent as you suspect and seem like natural born victims and the film manipulates he audiences sense of decency and decorum to legitimize it's familiar and routine story.
It's a well directed tale, but that young kids being in the middle are the only thing that makes the film more of interest and not just routine.
Kevin bacon is good as more or less the lead as he stays memorable for his menace and silliness at times. Though he always stays believable. It works with what it has connecting all the elements like a jigsaw puzzle.
The film has a dryness in it's humor that never graduates into exact excitement. It stays level though brings the story to a slow boil at times. That only truly heats up in the last 15 minutes. It is intriguing how we get there. If it added more the film would feel overloaded. Though this is a film that is more fun to watch in it's construction and filmmaking more then story.
Though the role reversal of the kids personality is one of the more predictable aspects. The film seems to embrace then skew the traditional aspects of the film, until it meets the story that wants to be told. That for a film so interested in details, that when it begins to stay to tight to it's ambiguity it give it a strange shift. It tries too hard to set itself apart, that it her partially feels simple but also that puts in a lot of work to make itself stand-out for no real reason. It takes it's time to tell it's story, but at times comes off more as a stunt or gimmick. Not a grand one but noticeable. That gives it a sleazy edge then it should have.
This is a film I have mixed feelings about. There isn't much technically wrong. As it takes it's time. It frustrates the audience who might be looking more for action and immediacy with through explanations and resolutions.
As the film leaves a lot hanging in the air before it chooses to reveal and necessarily, though some might feel uncertain.
The child actors are food and believable every step of the way.
The film seems to have clean, simple, easy storytelling. Can partially see what maybe the director Jon Watts was chosen to direct the upcoming SPIDER-MAN movie. As he gets a lot out of a little. He manages to keep you interested in the film every step of the way.
There film seems to lack a certain pizza and energy that seems promised at the beginning. Instead it seem like it sits on it and tries to transform it into tension. While trying to make itself smarter then the audience and trying to impress them. Rather then stay true to the story and characters instead creating a puzzle that's not that hard to figure out, but tries complicating something simple.
The film seeks to be it's own young adult tape with adults as the major turning points. That plays on fear, but hard to take seriously at times to a degree. That comes off nasty and mean spirited in the end.
The film has good filmmaking as it feels like a film that is on the straight and narrow that seems healthy until a virus that has stayed hidden infiltrates and is forced to come out and infect all Around it. Though by the end the filmmaking leave you with a slight annoyance and anonymity.