A cop on the edge, hitting the booze too hard, strung out, enjoys and employs excessive force and, of course, only plays by his own rules. This is of one of the most common stories in cinema and one of the most fascinating. However, it takes a director with flair and a talented group of actors to make a relevant and interesting film.
This all-star cast is led by Woody Harrelson and backed by Robin Wright, Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Foster, Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon and Ice Cube. Harrelson stars as LAPD officer Dave Brown who is a practicing old school policeman: he has no problem busting a few heads to get the people's justice done, and his home life is just as chaotic as his work life. He lives next door to his two ex-wives (Cynthia Nixon and Anne Heche) who just so happen to be sisters, and his two children (one from each). None of this can last forever and it all starts coming down around his ears as he is caught on tape beating a suspect, becoming the poster boy for police brutality. He is investigated from within the police force, hounded by the press and even his ex-wives now want him out of their lives. Brown is going down: the only question is how fast and in what fashion.
Director Oren Moverman (The Messenger) does have the flair to bring something interesting to an overdone genre. He keeps the camera and story moving quickly, and the locations are varied and interesting. A screenplay from James Ellry, the master of the cop drama, doesn’t hurt either. The high point of the film is the performance from Harrelson– not only did he lose a bunch of weight for the film, but perhaps only in Natural Born Killers has Harrelson so completely lost himself to a role. Anchored by one of the best supporting cast assembled in recent memory helps create a world that seems too crazy to be real while being too believable not to be.
September 18th 3:00pm
Directed by: Oren Moverman
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Robin Wright, Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Foster, Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon and Ice Cube
Written by: Oren Moverman and James Ellroy
Produced by: Ben Foster, Lawrence Inglee, Ken Kao and Clark Peterson