Cop Car (2015)
Starring: Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford, Camryn Manheim, Sean Hartley, Kyra Sedgwick
Directed By: Jon Watts
Written By: Jon Watts, Christopher D. Ford
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 26 min
Two preteen boys run away from home, and come across a seemingly abandoned cop car. So what do they do? Take it for a joyride of course! And by doing so, unwittingly embroil themselves in the nefarious dealings of a corrupt police officer, Sheriff Kretzer. Played very authentically here by the always reliable Kevin Bacon.
What follows is light on details, but is still an entertaining ride. Writer/director Jon Watts isn’t too concerned with giving his character’s back stories, and seems more interested in exploring the film’s simple yet intriguing premise. Mining its sparse narrative to effectively maintain a gut-wrenching level of tension right up until the closing credits.
Jon Watts and Christopher D. Ford’s script does deliver enough clues to explain why the players in this game of cat and mouse are present on the stage. And I was impressed with the accurate portrayal of the two young boys. Quite often in movies, preteen (or younger) characters rarely act or sound their age. But in Cop Car, each situation and subsequent reaction by these children seemed very authentic. Which helps add extra knots in your stomach as they try to figure out the car’s controls, or experiment with the sheriff’s guns.
Cop Car is not an easy film to watch, but it is intriguing. It’s light on plot and character development, but in the same way a good book leaves room for the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks. As in, done deliberately to maintain the feeling this story is only going to end tragically. It keeps you off-balance, and unable to predict the outcome.
The tone of this film reminded me of Stand By Me and The Hitcher (the original of course). Cop Car is rated R due to some scenes of graphic violence and bad language.
This is decently made, and nicely shot. A matinée or HD rental on a nice big TV will service this film well enough.
Sheriff Kretzer’s reaction when he discovers his car has been stolen.