Copshop (2021) movie review
Copshop is an action/crime/thriller directed by Joe Carnahan starring Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo, both of whom acted as producers on the film. Now I’m going to get this out there right now before I even talk about the plot! I went into Copshop knowing absolutely nothing about it except that it was a crime/thriller with some action and some comedy, and I thought it was a really good time! Now I just watched the trailer so I could write a summary based on what was advertised, and I think if a small scale crime flick sounds fun to you, just go check it out without knowing anything about it! (Or just skip over the summary.)
So Copshop stars Grillo as a criminal who intentionally gets himself arrested at a small precinct to avoid, well, being killed by any number of assassins coming after him. One of whom is played by Gerard Butler. Last but not least we have Officer Valerie, played by Alexis Louder, the arresting officer determined to figure out Grillo’s story and keep him safe so justice can prevail. While the reviews for the film are fairly average, I should point out that at least the Metacritic score is the highest of the major opening releases this weekend… And yeah, I’d agree with that so far! It’s a really fun time!
One of the things that really works for Copshop is the inspiration is takes from previous films of the genre. The film doesn’t have a truly descript setting, but it is modern enough to have a cell phone. That said, Copshop might end up being an ageless gem thanks to the playful style and choices in costume design and production design. The music and Frank Grillo’s bellbottoms are straight out of the 70s, and while his performance is somewhere around there too, his manbun hilariously sets the film in the late 2000s at the latest. That said, the tone of the film, with just an edge of comedy but enough tension to go around feels very 80s, and the story? Well in true early Tarantino, Singer, and Ritchie, is very 90s. This wonderful blend of influences keep the tone light and refreshing, while allowing the witty screenplay to take some genuinely fun characters and run with them!
Now I would LOVE to talk more in depth about this gem, but I obviously don’t want to give too much away. That said, here are some things to expect: Don’t expect a ton of, well, anything. Like your early Ritchie and Tarantino and Singer, the build-up is the highlight. There’s some action and some comedy, but for the most part, you are just along for the windy road where you at most times have the information of protagonist Valerie, who is very much the star of the film.
Really aside from the clever dialogue work, which it not only great but very character specific, the performances are the thing that really makes this film! Alexis Louder? Didn’t really know her from anything before this. She’s fantastic. Clearly Frank Grillo and Gerard Butler are having a ton of fun too! I don’t know about you, but I love watching a somewhat self-aware film that doesn’t take itself too seriously with talent that just wants to be there! And last but certainly not least is Toby Huss, who shows up and hilariously steals every scene he is in!
The only thing that really works against this film is the ending. Not only is it a little too long, but I got the sense that at a certain point, they didn’t know how to wrap up the story. There is a point that would have made a nice clean break, and I don’t understand why that wasn’t the end of it. Copshop keeps going and going, undoing some of the god graces it built up with its surprisingly twisty narrative. I don’t think it ruins the film, but it does go to show that sticking the landing on these small-scale crime thrillers is vital to making it stick with its audience.
That said, while it could have used a more polished ending, I thought Copshop was a ton of fun! I got a kick out of the blend of styles and the light tone, and while it’s not trying to bank on major twists, I enjoyed not knowing what was going to happen at every turn! Even though it’s not heavy on action, Copshop was significantly more entertaining than, I would argue, most of the action films I’ve actually seen this year. I would really love to own this when it comes out, despite the lackluster wrap-up. So yeah, go see it; it’s a pretty good time! 7/10.
So Copshop? Did you see it yet? What did you think? Be sure to leave a like or a comment below and let us know! And speaking of likes and comments, got something else you want us to review? Well leave said comment with a like and we’ll write up a review! And as always, thanks for reading!
-review by Ryan Prince