COPSHOP (NETFLIX) (2021)
SYNOPSIS: Bullets fly and blood splatters at a small-town police station when a rookie cop unwittingly locks a contract killer in the cell opposite his target.
The prolific Frank Grillo is front and centre, as a fixer for mobster opposite usual leading man Gerald Butler whom in a strange twist of fate plays second fiddle in Copshop.
This entertaining gun toting action thriller opens with Teddy Murretto (Grillo), a sleazy guy with a bad man bun who gets himself locked up in a small-town police station by a rookie cop, Valerie Young (Alexis Louder). Not surprisingly, Muretto has a hidden agenda for doing so. Apparently, he has siphoned lots of money from his clients and now they want him dead.
One of them is professional hitman, Bob Viddick (Butler). As a backup, a fellow psychotic hitman, Anthony Lamb (Toby Huss) is also hired for the job. However, with both of them trapped and locked in separate cells, Murretto and Viddick must find ways and means to get out of jail before Lamb gets into them.
Directed by Joe Carnahan who returned to his Narc andSmokin’ Acesroots, the majority of the movie is confined within the set of a police station which in a way gives Carnahan lots of creativity to stage some striking shoot-outs and bloody body counts. So instead of John McClane being trapped in a building with terrorists, we have an enthusiastic rookie cop Valerie Young being surrounded by a con-artist and hitmen.
The interesting question being how is she going to survive this soon to occur bloodbath? Who is she trusting her life to? The fixer who absconded with his clients’ money or the notorious hitman who never misses the target?
The script by Carnahan and Kurt McLeod manages to keep things breezy and witty even the action bits only came in much later. The playful banter between Muretto and Viddick which constitutes much of the movie is very much Tarantino-inspired although it’s probably a little too unfair to judge things this way. The profanity-laced dialogue indeed contains a decent mix of laughs and nastiness before the much-anticipated finale.
With Copshop, Carnahan has successfully churned out an old school, wham-bang action thriller that will make John Woo proud. There’s no pretentious character development or stylized CG enhanced action setup. Without any excess fat, this movie is meant to solely entertain. With Grillo chewing the scenery together with Butler and an outstanding Alexis Louder giving their very best, Copshop is strangely addictive.
Review by Linus Tee