“Copshop,” begins in windswept plains, probably criss-crossed by dry riverbeds and rocky ravines just like the legendary Wild Wild West.
So you will probably think it is a spaghetti western, like the movies Quentin Jerome Tarantinoreportedly loves.
That’s why I initially thought that this was his movie. It has all the hallmarks of his kind of pulp fiction, if you will.
Also, the narrative style carries the John Hancock of his creative hand: purposeful camera angles, a plot that follows a non-linear structure with subplots threaded into an over-arching storyline driven by stylishly snappy dialogue.
The trio has had their hands in everything from “Bad Boys For Life” and “Harry Potter” to “Boss Level,” but while working separately
In this movie, Frank Grillo plays Teddy Muretto, a criminal who should’ve been “dead a dozen different ways” as everyone under the crime-ridden sun is trying to “off” him.
So Teddy (sounds so cute and cuddly, this name) decides that the safest place for him is, er, jail.
He thus foments some drunk-and-disorderly rumption involving him punching police officer Valerie Young (Alexis Louder) outside a casino.
Valerie is “V” for vivacious, violent and very possibly a contender to be the next Black Panther.
Yeah, I know: she’s female; but so is the future, I’m reliably told.
Her short hair complements her high noon-ready antique revolver and not so-Pale Rider swagger to ride your viewing pleasure to a giddy-up adrenaline rush.
In sleepy Nevada, however, she’s largely idle…until she hauls Teddy into jail.
This is when all hell breaks loose.
Soon, another man gets himself arrested after driving into some State Troopers.
The arrestee is Bob Viddick (Gerald Butler), who seems harmless enough as a guy so drunk that if you asked him to count how many fingers you’re holding up he would probably reply, “those are fingers?”
Viddick is in fact sober, and he is a Hitman there to make dead sure that Teddy’s nine lives lead to a permanent cat nap.
Placed in a cell opposite Teddy’s, Viddick strikes up a Tarrantino-esque conversation with his mark.
“Teddy: I know who you are, pal. I’ve heard all about you. Legendary Bob Viddick. Some chilling s–t float around about you. That poor bastard in Tampa, you cut off his arm with a carving knife, then you beat him to death with that same arm, right?
Viddick: It was his leg.”
As these two villains get acquainted, a Dunkin’ Donut chomping corrupt cop is trying to smuggle drugs out of the police precinct.
Later, he is joined by a psycho killer who will remind you of a bubbly version of Garland Greene in “Con Air,” played by Steve Buscemi.
You recall that psycho, right?
Anyway, this killer is called Tony Lamb (Toby Huss) and he’s got a machine gun that puts a tut-tut into the rat-a-tat-tat staccato gunfire of his weaponry.
As everyone gets a target painted on them, it is down to Valerie to save the day without having to light up a cigar and throw the lighter into a car, letting it explode à la Beyoncé.
She’s cooler than that, Jay Z will agree.
The action is fast-paced, with far too many shoot-’em-ups for you to get any deeper understanding of the characters.
However, thanks to the good dialogue, the characters are purpose-driven without hitting the skids with a “Fast and Furious” thud.
With powerful spectacle appeal, the violence has a strange allure which will make you long for a sequel when Valerie finally drives into the sunset.