Review: Cop Car

Cop Car is a recently released film on Blu-Ray after a limited run in theaters. Written by Jon Watts and Christopher D. Ford and Jon Watts also directed. Watts’ career has included a few television projects and a horror film called Clown. I am not familiar with Watts’ work other than this film, but we will soon be hearing much more from this director as he is attached to direct the new Spider-Man film from Marvel. Marvel has been very good at finding great talent to put behind the camera and they may have found another one in Watts.

Cop Car will more than likely draw its audience from Kevin Bacon fans more than Marvel fan boys, and though Bacon has a great performance in this film, the story is what drives it. One of the interesting things about this film is we do not get the whole story for any of the characters involved, but the short time that they cross paths is a mesmerizing story line. The film starts out with two young boys, played by James Freedson-Jackson and Hays Wellford, who have recently ran away from home and start walking through the country. They come upon a sheriff’s car in the middle of nowhere, seemingly abandon. After a few dares coming from both boys, they find the keys and decide to take it. Then there is a flashback to just before the kids found the car. Kevin Bacon is a Sheriff who is pulling a dead body out of the trunk of the car and is bringing it to an abandoned well. He dumps the body after some effort and when he walks back to where he parked his car, it is gone. The story continues from here as Bacon has to outsmart the dispatch as well as find his car before anybody finds that it has been stolen.

Even though this is a country-noir with vast landscapes, it has a very small cast to keep the story very tight and suspenseful. Camryn Manheim plays a witness to the kids driving the car and Shea Whigham shows up in an important role later in the film. Other than these 5, everybody else is pretty much background extras.

One aspect of this film that I loved is all the characters in this film are noir protagonists in different ways and all could be the main character of their own noir story. We just do not know that whole story and never find it out during this film. The two boys are running away from home at the beginning of the film, but we don’t know why. The Sheriff is getting rid of a dead body and again we don’t know why. Do to my policy of no spoilers I will not go into Whigham’s character, but lets just say he may have the most noir story line of them all.

This film is a must see for fans of Whigham or Bacon and I feel most noir fans will find it worth watching. All this adds up to wanting to see more work from Watts and hoping he gives the new Spider-Man a little noir flair.

Favorite Tidbit: Kevin Bacon’s wife Kyra Sedgwick is the voice of the Police Dispatch in this film.

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