Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fact is, I hate all people equally.

When I hear someone say that they hate cops I want to immediately punch them in the face. Repeatedly. Then I want to kick down their door and steal everything they own. Perhaps form a nice pile of their belongings and take a gigantic piss on it, even. What are they going to do about it? Vigilante justice, perhaps, but the obvious answer is call the f--king cops, right? The way I see it, police officers have a pretty terrible job. Their day-to-day is to deal with all the shit that no one else wants/has the ability to. That could stress someone out after awhile. Maybe even turn them into a real prick.

Now, real prick doesn't even begin to describe Woody Harrelson's character in 2011's Rampart. This guy is f--king psychotic. And while I'm not sure what to make of the film as a whole, Harrelson's performance is incredible. You can't take your eyes off of him. You probably shouldn't either.

Officer Dave Brown (ha, my dad's name) is a mess, both professionally and personally. At home, his wives are fed up with his bullshit, and his daughters are as well. It doesn't help that the girls are first cousins, too (think about it). At work, Dave (also known as Date Rape) is knee deep in shit. He works a tough beat and his department in being investigated for numerous shady dealings, many of which he has had a hand in. Things get all kinds of f--ked when Dave is caught on tape nearly beating someone to death. The L.A.P.D has enough problems, and this latest incident isn't helping. If only it had stopped there.

Everything I've mentioned so far, well, outside of his daughters, is pretty typical bad cop movie stuff.  But the level of corruption and perversion that Harrelson takes it to undoubtedly separates it from the rest. Throw in very compelling visuals and excellent performances from a ridiculously deep cast and you should be good. But for some reason, it feels slightly incomplete. We are left to figure out the ending for ourselves, and while I'm always for interpretation, I thought this one was going to go out guns blazing. It's much more restrained, to say the least. A literal slow burn...

I have two good friends that are police officers, and an uncle who retired after 30 years. Now, I'll admit, at least one of these guys could probably be a hotheaded douche I'm sure, but I still respect what they do. And to them, I dedicate another addition of the law-abiding Yays and Boos, but-I've-hated-every-f--king-speeding-ticket-I've-ever-gotten style.

Just remember what side you're on...
  • Ned Beatty nails it when he says that Dave is either the dumbest cop he's ever met or the most bull-headed. This sums up every action in the movie perfectly.
  • And to that, let me add that Dave closes ass like no other. Dude even sucks toes.
  • Sigourney Weaver owns, as usual. So does my main man Ben Foster.
  • But the surprise performance comes from Brie Larson as his oldest daughter, Helen. Watch for the look she gives him when he sincerely asks, Have I hurt you? It's pretty brutal.
  • And finally, let me reiterate how epic Woody is in this one. Right up there with the awesomeness of his portrayal of Larry Flynt. And here, you don't have to deal with Courtney Love (huge bonus, that).
  • Sometimes the visual kickassery can get a bit much. There's one scene where the camera won't stop spinning. And I had the subtitles on...almost ralphed on Dodger.
  • When Dave turns his back on the General. Not cool, man. 
  • Many times, things got unbearably uncomfortable. Especially with the lovely Robin Wright. You know Forrest wouldn't stand for that.
  • I swear the last 40 movies I've seen have featured some very hardcore sex club. I need to move asap.
  • Steve Buscemi. I know, it's blasphemous to boo ol' Steve. But when he shows up for 30 seconds, he's not a character, or a lawyer or whatever. He's f--king Steve Buscemi. It's distracting.
BOTTOM LINE: If you're down for Woody kicking ass and getting into all kinds of shit, go for it. But if you're looking for a very compelling story with a satisfying conclusion...well, keep it moving, people. Nothing to see here.


  1. I've been wanting to see this for the longest time now. I'll try to fit it in this weekend. Woody Harrelson is the man.

    1. Yeah, let me know what you think.

      Woody is impressively out-of-his-damn mind. It's great.

  2. Could have been a whole lot more entertaining and exciting, but with a perfect performance at the lead from Harrelson, I couldn't really complain too much. Bummed that he didn't get that Oscar nomination this year, but I can also see him pulling one out very, very soon as his career starts to show off some more darker stuff he is able to do. Great review M.

    1. He will win one before it's doubt.

  3. Uuu, I really need to see this one! Sounds like an awesome cast is involved and I like Harrelson a lot, he is one of those actors who does well both with playing psychos and sweet guys. And Sigourney is always great, so I'm definetly going to watch it soon.

    1. That's a good point about ol' Woodrow. He really does play nice, loveable guys just as well ass he plays psycho f--ks. Dude's just awesome. Hopefully he'll kick some more ass as Haymitch, too.

      And, seriously, the cast is frickin' great.

  4. Yup, I completely agree with you here. Woody killed it in this role, but the movie as a whole failed him. The Messenger was so restrained and powerful, and this was just so... much. Good acting, but like you say, keep moving.

    1. Since reading about Woody's greatest performances, I'm definitely in for The Messenger. As great as he is, I seriously think he's still underrated, if that's possible.