Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cop Land: Star Cast with Nonsensical Plotting

Movie Review: Cop Land

Director: James Mangold

Reviewed: 4 April 2014

jamesintexas rating-- **

An achievement in casting, James Mangold's Cop Land assembles a marvelous assemblage of actors, places them in the impossibly brilliant scenery overlooking Manhattan from across the river in New Jersey, and then saddles them to a moribund plot that results in sloppiness. In the film, Cop Land refers to a New Jersey town bought by NYC police officers through a special dispensation, and it serves as a sort of haven for them away from the job. The city sheriff is Freddy (Sylvester Stallone), a lovable loser type who is walked all over by everyone and is half-deaf as a result of a heroic act in his youth. When a police incident on the bridge separating New York from Cop Land results in headline-grabbing attention, Freddy begins to slowly wake up from his slumber, investigating suspicious activity, and conference with Internal Affairs officer (Robert DeNiro).

The film uses Ray Liotta, Harvey Keitel, Robert Patrick, and a cast of recognizable faces in the execution of an unwieldy story with too many strands and a terrible ending. I thought the last fifteen minutes defied so much logic that it was stunning. The idea of Cop Land is a good one; the reality is that it is a film that is really a mess.

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