Director: Joe Carnahan
Runtime: 107 minutes
Cast: Frank Grillo, Gerard Butler, Alexis Louder, Toby Huss
Synopsis: On the run from a lethal assassin, a wily con artist devises a scheme to hide out inside a small-town police station—but when the hitman turns up at the precinct, an unsuspecting rookie cop finds herself caught in the crosshairs.
Director and co-screen writer is Joe Carnahan [Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane (1998), Narc (2002), Smokin’ Aces (2006), The A-Team (2010), The Grey (2011) and Boss Level (2021)].
Inspired by iconic 1970’s films like Bullitt, Dirty Harry and Magnum Force, Carnahan wanted to rachet up the tension between the hitman and his quarry in Copshop; he also aimed to sharpen the interactions between both men with the calm, capable rookie cop who comes between them.
“I saw the story as very much a ’70s neo-feminist western with a bit of noir,” Carnahan says.
Screaming through the Nevada desert in a bullet-ridden Crown Vic, wily con artist Teddy Murretto [Frank Grillo-Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Endgame (2019), and animated series What If…? (2021). He had his first leading role in the The Purge: Anarchy (2014), The Purge: Election Year (2016), Warrior (2011), The Grey (2012), End of Watch (2012), Zero Dark Thirty (2012)] hatches a desperate plan to hide out from lethal hitman Bob Viddick [Gerard Butler-Den of Thieves (2018), Law Abiding Citizen (2009), 300 (2006)]. He sucker-punches rookie officer Valerie Young [Alexis Louder-The Tomorrow War (2021), Watchmen (2019)] to get himself arrested and locked up in a small-town police station. But jail can’t protect Murreto for long. Viddick schemes his own way into detention, biding his time in a nearby cell until he can complete his mission. When the arrival of a competing assassin, Lamb [Toby Huss- King of the Hill (1997), Halt and Catch Fire (2014) and Rescue Dawn (2006)] ignites all-out mayhem, mounting threats force Viddick to get creative if he wants to finish the job and escape the explosive situation.
A gripping thriller with some original angles, the chemistry between the dynamic leads -Butler’s Bob Viddick and Frank Grillo’s Teddy Murretto – is sizzling with Viddick an entertaining, unwashed antithesis to Murretto’s lean, tense demeanor.
Add an interesting police station with comedians, slackers even a corrupt cop and things get even more interesting for Teddy, Bob and Alexis as a rival hitman, Anthony (Toby Huss) arrives at the copshop, Anthony is truly psychotic, carrying a Bugs Bunny Balloon and sounding like Foghorn Leghorn. An internal siege develops with cells, narrow passages and becoming the battleground. Some savage violence and indiscriminate killing is offset by dark humour throughout Copshop.
Tension is well maintained throughout the film which has a touch of early Tarantino about it, especially in respect of the dialogue.
Newcomer Alexis Louder as Rookie cop Valerie Young more than holds her own against the male cast in Copshop.
With atmospheric cinematography from Juan Miguel Azpiroz and an excellent ‘70s soundtrack by Clinton Shorter, Copshop transports the viewer to an entertaining, unpredictable world where the stakes just keep rising.
Images courtesy of :Smm-TX Films