Cop Car

***1/2

Reviewed by: Robert Munro

Cop Car
"This is a tense and enjoyable genre picture, and one which gets terrific central performances from all involved."

In a small town in what we assume is the American South, two young boys emulate Twain's immortal rascals Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer in this engaging and well acted film from soon-to-be Spider-Man reboot director Jon Watts.

Cop Car, as the title suggest, follows the misadventures of Travis (James Freedson-Jackson) and Harrison (Hays Wellford), who have decided to run away from home in the enthusiastically misdirected manner of many a young would-be frontiersman. Armed with only a stick of beef jerky, sensibly rationed, the boys stumble upon a cop car in a gully, with no cop in sight.

Copy picture

Sherrif Kretzer (Kevin Bacon), the cop whose car is about to be nicked, has vacated the vehicle in order to dispose of some compromising evidence deep in the woods. Upon returning to where he'd parked up, he finds the car gone and his stoicism quickly evaporates into panic. He had more evidence to dispose of, which of course the young joyriders are unaware of... until a thumping starts up in the trunk.

Enter the ever wonderful Shea Wigham, playing an unruly sort of bad guy with some drugs-related disagreement with the corrupt Sheriff. Sporting a tatty bathrobe and a few cuts and bruises, he is released from the trunk of the Sheriff's car by the unsuspecting Travis and Harrison, and quickly takes the boys hostage to lure the already agitated Sheriff out for a final confrontation with the boys and the car as bait.

This is a tense and enjoyable genre picture, and one which gets terrific central performances from all involved. It is especially pleasurable to see Bacon in something other than his depressing roles selling the wares of a particular telecommunications giant. Watts manages to steer the film away from the realms of farce and incredulity, although it does walk a pretty fine line towards the end. The film's real success, even with Wigham and Bacon's seniority, rests with the relationship developed between Travis and Harrison, which manages to deliver a real emotional punch as the film reaches its conclusion.

Reviewed on: 09 Jul 2015
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Cop Car packshot
Two 10-year-old boys steal an abandoned police car.

Director: Jon Watts

Writer: Christopher D Ford, Jon Watts

Starring: Kevin Bacon, Shea Whigham, Camryn Manheim, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford

Year: 2015

Runtime: 86 minutes

Country: US


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