REVIEW: Movie about cons has plenty of cons, but still entertains

A bottle film with plenty of bullets is usually good for entertaining audiences, but the quality can really vary.

“Copshop” is a situation where the film does entertain, but the quality is a bit on the lower end.

Alexis Louder stars as Valerie Young in “Copshop,” a rookie officer who works at a rural police station. One night on patrol, Young arrests a man named Teddy Murretto (Frank Grillo), who is placed in a holding cell. Not long after, other officers from the station arrest a drunk driver known as Bob Viddick (Gerard Butler).

It turns out, Teddy and Bob know each other. After working for the mob, Teddy was looking for a way out and went to the authorities. Bob, meanwhile, is a hitman. Now, the two are both at the same station and Young is forced to do some quick thinking as another gunman comes to the station, also looking for the hit on Teddy.

Action comedies have plenty of potential, but they’re more successful when the tone is consistent. “Copshop,” unfortunately, doesn’t find the best balance in this case.

There are times where the movie is leaning into dark comedy, and others where it shifts over into being rather over-the-top and zany. The tonal imbalance causes the film to stumble a bit.

There’s no better example of this than the character Anthony Lamb, played by Toby Huss. Lamb is the other hitman who shows up and his character is so wacky that it come off as cartoonish.

Every time he’s on screen, most of the tension seems to dissipate, as Huss excessively chews scenery. The character feels like he’s from a different film and it takes a viewer out of the movie.

Copshopblog2
Courtesy Open Road Films and STX Entertainment.

There’s already a fairly good dynamic between Bob and Teddy, with Valerie stuck in the middle, that adding a character like Lamb was unnecessary, too. The drama with the trio was sufficient.

Scenes featuring their ongoing banter, is where the film scores a lot of its points. Bob and Teddy are two sides of the same coin, the latter being the more polished. As a result, seeing them trade jabs, while Valerie is just sick of both, is amusing.

Acting-wise, the lead trio each have some good moments here, but no one really stands out above the rest. There were times where Grillo’s performance was a tad awkward, although he has since said that the film’s editors cut the picture in a way that lessened his performance.

As for Butler, he seems a bit miscast here, as he’s better at playing a badass good guy, like he did in the “Fallen” series, than a bad guy who occasionally does good things. However, he does get the badass persona right here and that helps make the performance work.

Of the three, Young has the fewest acting credits, but she certainly holds her own here. Valerie is a committed officer and is tough as nails. All of this comes to the screen convincingly thanks to Louder.

The action featured in “Copshop” largely trades choreography for a lot of bullets and blood. While the shootouts aren’t on the same level as, say, “Nobody” from earlier this year, there are still some fun moments.

In addition to its tonal inconsistencies, “Copshop” runs out of steam after a while and the script isn’t strong enough to carry it all the way for its hour and 47 minute runtime. However, the lead trio’s interactions and some of the shootouts make this an alright option for action fans. 2.9 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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