Cop Car online movie review - Not exactly as advertised
Travis (James Freedson-Jackson) and Harrison (Hays Wellford) are out walking when they notice a seemingly abandoned patrol car.
With no police officer in sight and after some deliberation (and after finding the keys for the vehicle inside the car) the 2 boys decide to take the patrol car for a little spin. However, the kids finds themselves in over the heads when they find themselves being pursued by an unhinged Sheriff (Kevin Bacon) who is determined to get the car back for reasons beyond merely a sense of duty.
Cop Car is purportedly a 'cat and mouse' film and I think that anyone who refers to it as being a 'cat and mouse' film should be sued under the trade descriptions act. The granddaddy of 'cat and mouse' road films is arguably Duel, but for this film to even be put in the same category of Duel is just beyond a joke....
The first few minutes of the film consist of the two kids coming out with as many swear words as possible. I'm not quite sure what the point of this was, but it seemed rather silly and made me take a dislike to the two kids more or less straight away. The kids then steal a police car (after some deliberation) and go cruising about in it. Some of the scenes where the kids are happily cruising round in the patrol car are actually pretty funny; despite the severity of their actions there is always an underlying innocence with them as characters - they didn't take the car with the intention of killing anyone or in causing any harm, but they merely wanted to have some fun and saw a golden opportunity to do this. Therefore I can't really offer much criticism on this aspect of the story, but there are other problems elsewhere...
Narratively the film is rather weak and yes we do learn that Kevin Bacon's character is corrupt and dodgy, but don't really learn why and what has caused him to be this way? Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but given the fact that the film spends so much time focusing on his corruption (such as him burying a body at the start) and then having to face-off with the brother of the guy he buried later in the film you'd have thought that the writers would have offered some insight into this aspect of the story (considering how important it seemed). All this seemed a waste of screen time in my opinion.
Cop Car is billed as a 'cat and mouse' film and as I mentioned earlier this is not my idea of a 'cat and mouse' film. The first half of the film shows some mildly amusing moments with two kids trying to figure out how to drive a car and the other part of the film sees Kevin Bacon aimlessly running here, there and everywhere in an attempt to track down his patrol car. It's around the 40 minute mark before the Sheriff gets in touch with the kids and by that point the damage had already been done as far as I was concerned. Even when The Sheriff catches up with the kids the whole scenario relies on ridiculous contrivances in order to reach its resolution and the film never has one genuine moment of terror or suspense.
If you want to watch some good cat and mouse road films then I'd suggest Joy Ride, Duel or the low budget Brit film Hush which are all infinitely better than Cop Car which is, at best, a mediocre cat and mouse film.