Sometimes all the pieces are there, but a film just doesn’t work for ya…
“Copshop” stars Frank Grillo as a mob fixer who gets locked in a jail alongside the hitman hired to kill him (Gerard Butler), as the pair and a rookie cop (Alexis Louder) must work together to survive an assault on the police station. Joe Carnahan directs a script he co-wrote.
I am a big fan of Frank Grillo, he has a decent B-movie screen presence and has turned in solid supporting roles in films like “Warrior” and “End of Watch,” and while I have no real opinion on Gerard Butler as an actor, I think he has made some decent films, including last year’s surprisingly good “Greenland.” I also have a love-hate relationship with director Joe Carnahan, so on paper this film should have at least in-part worked for me. Spoiler: it didn’t.
This is one of those films that knows exactly what it wants to do, but as commendable as that is, it was just never gelling for me. Outside the main trio characters are completely expendable and have zero true character traits or development, and while deep mythos and deep plots aren’t what you look for in an old-school shoot-em-up, it’s nice to have something to grasp onto as an audience member.
Grillo and Butler aren’t mailing it in, but they’ve both been better. In fact, they spend a majority of the film’s runtime locked up in cells. The real star of the show is Alexis Louder, who is likely only known for her supporting role in this year’s “The Tomorrow War.” Louder has a nice charisma about her, and while her work here isn’t enough to save the film as a whole, it is a nice calling card moving forward.
The action set pieces just never grab you, and a lot of the blood is clearly done in post. Again, the film is clearly going for that 90s/2000s B-movie feel, but it just feels more cheap than it does campy. For being pretty thinly written, the plot is needlessly convoluted (several plot points are introduced only to be abandoned or quickly resolved in the third reel), and this would’ve just worked better as a straight cat-and-mouse game between Grillo and Butler.
“Copshop” isn’t the kind of bad movie that makes you upset, just disappointed that it is never anywhere near as fun as it should be given all it has at its disposal. If you want a brainless time at the movies and have absolutely zero expectations, then sure, maybe toss this one a bone (it moves quick enough, all things considered). But all parties involved have done better work, and there are films out right now that are better uses of your time and money.
Critics Rating: 4/10