Director Joe Carnahan
Screenplay Kurt McLeod, Joe Carnahan
Starring Alexis Louder, Gerard Butler, Frank Grillo, Toby Huss, Ryan O’Nan, Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereau, Chad L. Coleman
Copshop is a nicely compact action movie that takes place inside a police station. Three criminals take great measure to get there. Two of them are seeking the third. The target is con artist Teddy Murretto (Grillo), who is on the run after the Attorney General of Las Vegas is killed. How or why this connects to him being sought after by hitmen Bob Viddick and then Anthony Lamb (Huss) is smartly dismissed as irrelevant. The point is when they all arrive at the station (aka the Copshop) the chaos that ensues is original and entertaining.
The reason the film is compelling is two-fold.
First is the addition of Toby Huss’ psychopath hitman. Unlike his stunted performance in 2018’s Halloween, McLeod and Carnahan allow Huss’ to be multi-dimensional and funny as hell. Many of the best scenes of the film revolve around Lamb’s relentlessly creative march into the fortress.
The big find for Copshop is Alexis Louder as rookie police officer Val Young. She is given enough rope to show an intelligence above her contemporaries without diminishing the rest of the officers to the point of absurdity. Every moment with Louder is like watching someone you not only want leading you into battle but you want her to be your friend, as well. I will be following her career with much interestl
Grillo plays the role of a slimero with aplomb. He switches from fast talker to a menace easily. He and fellow producer Butler are smart enough actors to allow others to shine, knowing full well that they will get their opportunities before the credits roll. This is the best attribute about Copshop: viewers go in expecting one thing and they are delighted by the different talents that is worth following elsewhere.
(***1/2 out of *****)