A pair of ten-year-olds find an abandoned cop car in a field. When they take it for a joyride, it seems like they could kill themselves at any moment. But things only get worse when the small town sheriff goes looking for his missing car. The kids find themselves in the center of a deadly game of cat and mouse they don't understand and the only way out is to go as fast as their cop car can take them.
In a bit of a before and after scenario, the film, COP CAR, begins as 2, 10 year old boys, Travis and Harrison, are headed to the woods for some mischievous fun. But, that is when fun comes to them, It arrives in the form of a Police cruiser, which has seemingly, been abandoned in a field, First, their curiosity has them only touching the cop car, but it doesn't take long, before that curiosity leads them to go all the way. Because soon, they're inside the vehicle, and with the keys found - the joyride commences. The film then shifts us to a short time before the kids discover the car, to show us just how it got there, as it introduces us to Sheriff Mitch Kretzer. Although Kretzer portrays himself as an officer of the law, he has been up to no good. "No good". which includes snorting Cocaine, and vicious murder. It is murder that brought him to the field, as he has parked his car in the area, while he disposes of a body(while also leaving another in his trunk). He intended to only be gone for a few minutes, but of course when he returned, his car was nowhere in sight. The whereabouts of the car, was of course, that the kids where out having a little fun - on and off road. But while their reckless abandonment could have very well killed them, Travis and Harrison, truly aren't prepared for what would ultimately occur, once Kretzer came looking for the hot cop car. From then on, the 2 naive kids are locked in, not only a game of cat and mouse with Mitch Kretzer, but are also caught within the crossfire between Kretzer, and one of his victims, whom is still very much alive.
COP CAR, a film which was co-written by Director Jon Watt(Director of CLOWN(2014), and the upcoming reboot of SPIDER-MAN), with Christopher D. Ford is definitely one that is a difficult one to categorize. Coming away from it, one isn't quite sure what to call it. Is it indie? Is it a thriller? Is it a drama? Or is it experimental? The answer is that, COP CAR, is a little bit of all of those things. I think it will be one of those films, that will differ from person to person, in terms of just how much it will be enjoyed. In viewing the film for this review, it was actually my second time seeing the film. The first time that I saw the film, I remember feeling uncertain about it. I just didn't know what to think, or how I felt about it. But I did think that a second viewing might help me better decide. However, unfortunately, with a second viewing, I feel even less enthused about COP CAR, as it has left me feeling that the film is just not that great. Definitely not as good as it could have been.
COP CAR's main problem is that it just takes entirely too long to get off the ground, and for a film that runs at only 88 minutes, that's just not good. For a good majority of the film's runtime, nothing truly happens. The film's script pads things out with little things involving both the 2, 10 year olds and the Sheriff. We see the kids driving trough pastures, then on the open road. We also so them playing with Kretzer's caution tape, etc. The film tries to be "indie film funny", and cute, by putting an emphasis on the naivety of young Travis and Harrison, and the notion that "boys will be boys". However, it just doesn't work to the intended effect. We never really connect to them. On the other side, when the focus is put on Kretzer, we are shown his actions; from the killing to the drug use, I suppose it is meant to display is instability, yet, it is not felt at 100% by the audience at anytime. While we do have a sense that Kretzer is a little kooky, there is never a time where he is truly intimidating(save for maybe, the last 5 minutes of the film). The early half of the film just feels like filler, in order to get to the film's final half hour or so, which is when the film, finally does pick up a little steam. Yes, it is in the film's final 30 minutes, that things start to get good. This is when the whole thing finally adds up to something, when everything collides. Kretzer finds the car(and the boys), Kretzer's surviving victim has been let out of the trunk(and is now packing a gun), and also, an innocent bystander named, Bev(the woman who reported the car, after spotting the boys and their erratic driving) has also come up on the car. It is a moment where all of the characters in the film come together, and it is a moment of, albeit brief, genuine suspense. It is the only moment in the film which the suspense reaches that level of tension. Unfortunately. though, it's just too little too late.
With that said, I still give credit to the film's small cast for giving some pretty good performances, given the material. Kevin Bacon, who has seen a resurgence in his career, in the last couple years, does well here as the local Quinlan County Sheriff, "Mitch Kretzer". And the young cast members, James Freedson-Jackson("Travis"), and Hays Wellford("Harrison"), and also do likewise as our pair of mischievous 10 year olds. I also had no problem with Camryn Manheim, as the nosy, but concerned, good Samaritan, "Bev", or even the mysterious victim from Kretzer trunk, played by Shea Whigham. It's just that all of these characters lack depth. There is nothing descriptive about them, other than who we assume them to be. Over the course of the film, we learn very little about them, thus we are left with very little to support the characters.
In the end, this results in generic characters, and an overall story that is fairly dull, and equally, uninteresting. It is one that should have possibly fared better, considering its various plot elements, but doesn't.
As for the film in HD, the film both looks and sounds great - which might be the best thing about COP CAR. It looks great. As for special features, the disc provides very little. Included is a behind the scenes featuretter, titled, Their "Their First and Last Ride : The Making of Cop Car". But running at just under 3 minutes in lengh(2m 58s), it is is hardly anything to get excited about.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
As I said above, the first time that I saw COP CAR, I was really unsure about it. The second time going into this one, still unsure, I really wanted to like it. However, as i'm being honest here, for the most part, I just couldn't connect with it. For a film with this level of potential to be something really good, there is just too much filler, and not enough suspense to truly grab and contain your interest.
Special Features include :
- Digital Copy of Cop Car
- Includes UltraViolet
- Their First and Last Ride: The Making of Cop Car
This film will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD on September 29, 2015