“Copshop” is directed by Joe Carnahan (The A-Team, The Blacklist) and stars Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Purge: Anarchy), Gerard Butler (Gods of Egypt, 300), and Alexis Louder (Watchmen, The Originals) in a film centered around a rookie cop who must deal with those who surround her in a police station.
I saw this film late at night at a local AMC because I had nothing better to do except shove popcorn in my face. I heard things about this film, some of which were positive, so I was intrigued. The reality is that when it comes to “Copshop,” I do not think I saw a single trailer of the film before letting the film shine on the screen for the first time.
I like my action films. Although when it comes to “Copshop,” it was something I could not really place in any box. It was an experience where I had to keep my eyes open, sit down, wait for the screen to brighten with some action. And despite this movie mostly taking place in one location with a somewhat limited set of characters, action there was. “Copshop” is not a movie I will be running down the streets screaming about, asking everyone to flock to the theater just to see it, but it is one that I recommend. If you like cop media, you might find this movie entertaining. If you like a blend of action and comedy, you might find this movie fun. This is a film that put me into the action and made me ask what the best move for our protagonist, Valerie Young, could possibly be. She is put into dangerous situations with potentially dire outcomes, and at times, the stakes feel high despite the movie not feeling incredibly enormous. I will give the writers credit where it’s due for coming up with a concept that does not feel expansive on the surface, but that expansiveness grows in terms of potential outcomes.
The reality is that “Copshop,” conceptually, does not break new ground. Glimmers of it can evoke a “been there, done that” feel. But if you have seen a number of movies that have a concept of someone getting revenge over the past number of years, you may agree that not every movie needs to break ground to be great. Some great movies can handle clichés to such a satisfying extent that can leave the viewer hooked, and “Copshop” is an example of that.
As for the cast in this film, I had some past experience with Frank Grillo’s work in the MCU, and just this summer I saw him in the Ryan Reynolds sequel, “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.” I was never completely invested in Grillo’s career, but I nevertheless had a knowledge of who he was. The one question mark I had about this movie though, aside from what the heck this film is truly about given the little research I did on it, was Gerard Butler, because as much as I like him, I also think some of his script choices have been questionable between “Gods of Egypt” and “Geostorm” because even though I’ve seen one of these projects, I could look at both of them and place them in a “Walmart DVD bin” category because they’re movies that if you gave yourself a sneak peek at them, you’d probably find somewhat hilarious for the wrong reasons. Seriously… “Geostorm” sounds like a straight to Syfy crapfest. But I will say, despite everything I just said, Gerard Butler is almost my favorite part of the film in terms of performances. Without giving much away, the reason why I like Gerard Butler in this film so much is because despite the fact that he spends much of the movie in one spot, barely even moving, he can deliver some great lines and some swagger in between.
This is movie is also the supposed theatrical film introduction of Alexis Louder and I think she does a fantastic job in the movie. Louder has a rugged, shaky presence to her. Louder has shown that she can be a force of nature, one that feels so big in a film that is incredibly small. She’s obnoxious, stern, and takes no prisoners. As an observer of her performance in this film alone, I cannot wait to see whatever it is that Alexis Louder will do next.
My favorite performance in the film personally comes from Tony Huss, known for his work on “King of the Hill.” Appropriately, he is the king of “Copshop.” Huss, or as I like to call him, James Murray at age 60, plays a character by the name of Anthony Lamb, he’s the antagonist of the film, he’s the one infiltrating the office, and I like his performance between a mix of simple ingredients. Tony Huss himself, obviously. I will also add the quirky, poppy writing, and there’s a sense of goofiness within this character that sholuld be out of place, but for whatever reason, Huss makes it work like a charm. You have all these people such as Alexis Louder and Gerard Butler who go through the movie with this tone that feels as hard as a cheese grater at times. It still can be lighthearted. It still can be funny. But given who their characters are, they feel all rough and tough. Huss at times feels like a literal clown. I could almost imagine Alexis Louder’s character as a Batman kind of figure facing off against Tony Huss’s character, which I would compare to the Joker.
If I had any problems with “Copshop,” nothing grand comes to mind. “Copshop” hits most of the beats it needs to hit, but I will admit, this is one of those reviews where I am talking about the movie long after I’ve seen it, so I can confirm this statement, this is not one of the more memorable films I have seen. “Copshop” is a fun film, but it is predictable and sometimes by the numbers. But it does not mean it does not pack its own flair into it. I would recommend the film, despite the few flaws it has.
In the end, “Copshop” is a good time. I think the cast is great, some of the dialogue is well written and occasionally funny. Gerard Butler gives one of the best performances of his career. And if this film has done anything, it has made me a bigger fan of Tony Hull. I want to see him do more stuff in the future, I would love to watch him in more comedies. Alexis Louder may have a future in feature film, and I hope if you go see see this film in whatever way you can, that you had as fun of a time as I did. I’m going to give “Copshop” a 7/10.
“Copshop” is now playing in theaters. Tickets are available now.
Thanks for reading this review! My next review is going to be for “Dear Evan Hansen,” the all new film based on the musical of the same name, and speaking of things based on other things, I will soon be sharing my review for “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” Stay tuned for these reviews, and do so by following Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account! Also, be sure to like the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Copshop?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite Gerard Butler movie? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!