Copshop stars Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo as two criminals facing off against each other and other killers and cops in a movie that seems all to familiar to anyone who remembers the endless crime action thrillers that came out after Quentin Tarantino became a household name more than 25 years ago.
Butler and Grillo have been playing these types of bad-ass manly men for so long, it’s a wonder this movie didn’t get the same hype as Heat when their 1990 contemporaries Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro faced off. Most of the movie seems like Reservoir Dogs as it’s set mostly in a police station out in the Nevada desert.
Grillo plays Teddy Muretto, a con artist and fixer on the run from crooked law enforcement and hitmen, who assaults rookie cop Valerie Young (Alexis Louder) outside a casino as she’s there to break up what appears to be a wedding reception gone wrong. Booked into holding as a John Doe, Teddy thinks he’s got the holding cell all to himself. That is until a drunk driver (Grillo) is arrested by the highway patrol for hitting a patrol car and is booked into another holding cell. Only know, he reveals himself as Bob Viddick, a professional hit man.
And he’s not the only one at the station as another hit man, Anthony Lamb (Toby Huss) shows up and murders some of the cops along with help from a crooked officer Huber (Ryan O’Nan). Valerie manages to lock herself inside the holding cell area with both Teddy and Bob. But that’s not before Bob tried to pull a fast one and assault another cellmate to get the upper hand on the officers. Valerie was too quick and has him handcuffed. But in the shootout with Anthony, who prefers to be called “Tony” now, she accidentally shot herself with a bullet ricocheted into her lower left side abdomen.
Now the question is who can trust who and what’s going to happen next as Valerie bleeds out wounded while trying to keep Tony and Huber out while wondering if she can trust either Bob or Teddy.
It’s familiar territory that a Tarantino wannabe would’ve written down in the late 1990s or early 2000s. And unlike the sloppy Free Fire that, the 2016 British dark comedy, it has tension and three-dimensional characters instead of people just foolishly shooting at each other in an abandoned warehouse. Copshop is directed and co-written by Joe Carnahan, who along with Grillo, made the delightful action comedy Boss Level that was released on Hulu in March of 2021. The movie is best described as Groundhog Day with machine guns as Grillo played a retired special forces military man stuck in a time loop in which he is constantly being killed while trying to dodge assassins in the Atlanta area.
Carnahan has also done the clever Narc and the wild shoot ’em up Smokin’ Aces as well as The Grey, so he knows how to handle these gritty movies. There’s a lot of twists and turns as guns are fired, things are set on fire and eventually go boom. This isn’t a Merchant Ivory production. You should know what you’re in store from the get go.
While I was expecting a little more mano e mano between Butler and Grillo, this seems like a dry run for another movie the two have planning. They’re both credited as producers so it’s a good chance they’ll team up with Carnahan for Copshop 2: Electric Boogaloo.
The biggest surprise is Louder as the badass cop who loves her .44 caliber revolver and doesn’t give an inch to the Boys Club around her. Hopefully, she has more career options because of this movie. I wouldn’t mind seeing all three return for a sequel or something else.
What do you think? Please comment.