Thanks to Austin TX’s beloved Alamo Drafthouse, I was able to attend a private viewing of Cop Car with an additional Q&A with Kevin Bacon. If I had to give a three word review, Id say this movie is “One Helluva Ride!” But thankfully I have a little more runway with this column than three words! Check out my spoiler free review of this thrilling movie after the break:
With a tiny budget comparatively to other Hollywood films, Cop Car firmly delivers. It truly is an unbelievable film. Jon Watts (Director & Writer) and Christopher D. Ford (Writer) Tell a brillant story of how a pair of ten-year-olds find an abandoned cop car in a field. When the two boys take the car 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.
What stands out?
One of the things that truly makes this movie are the two kids. Travis, played by James Freedson-Jackson and Harrison, played by Hays Wellford steal the show. Not only do these two tykes play well together, they are fundamentally the heart and soul of the story. Through these individuals we get to see the wonder of play time and innocence; only to then have it stripped away by the world at large (aka. Kevin Bacon). There are times where I imagined myself in their shoes, playing make-believe, and wondering if me and my friend were going to get caught doing something we shouldn’t… like stealing a car.
But the gem of these young men comes after a certain plot point in the movie when their seemingly wondrous childhood is over. Freedson-Jackson and Wellford delivered the loss of innocence brilliantly, which left me gut wrenched and terrified for them. I think it’s hard to pull that off as a young child actor – but for these two, it is apparent they are first class professionals.
We’ve seen Kevin Bacon in a multitude of “bad guy” roles. Some of my favorites are Sebastian Shaw (X-Men First Class), Sebastian Cane (Hollow Man), and Wade (The River Wild)… weird that two of his “baddies” are named Sebastian. Huh. Anyway, in Cop Car, Bacon plays Sheriff Kretzer, a seriously corrupt individual that finds himself in a heap of trouble. But the thing about this character is that you are aware up front that this guy is probably not the most outstanding citizen, but you don’t know exactly why.
And this is what I love – the whole movie you are left wondering who Sheriff Kretzer really is, and what’s the game plan? This is what I like to call the “long-con” of movie watching. Everything folds out evenly, and smoothly, but it’s over time. You have to have patience with Bacon’s character. You have to watch his every move, and his evolution of thinking. This is a very smart and devious character. Simple movements, facial expressions, grunts and sounds communicate more than actual dialog given on screen – and Bacon performs this beautifully.
What Is The Best Part?
The ending. By far – the ending is the best part of this movie. I obviously won’t spoil this for you – but I will say this: It was definitely one of those endings where you sit there and have to think for yourself. If you’ve not already developed an ulcer from the thrilling ride you have been on since the movie started, then the ending will certainly put you over the edge. Do things work out? Do people die? Do the kids make it home safe? You will never know unless you go and see Cop Car. Which I highly recommend you do. Go – go now – and get your daily dose of Bacon, you know you want it.
Overall – I give Cop Car 8 loaded guns out of 10.