For Reel

Cop Car (2015)
September 3, 2015, 1:55 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Jon Watts
3.5 Stars
Cop CarCop Car is an economical thriller with a terrific sense of when to pause. There is nary a wasted shot and yet director Jon Watts has the sense to take a few minutes to create a micro-drama out of Kevin Bacon unlocking a car using only a shoelace. If the film doesn’t have quite the personality of the Coen Brothers, it certainly has its head in the right place. When two boys are playing with a gun, nothing in the score, editing, or the framing distracts from the simple drama of the scenario. The audience waits for the gun to fire. And they wait. Finally, when the gun goes go off, it does so in an unexpected way, the sense of timing playing like a well-executed punchline. As the corrupt sheriff, Bacon’s performance is cartoonish in his wiriness–the image of the man hustling through a desert is more comical than threatening. But just as the audience gets comfortable with the man (or at least as comfortable as one can be with a man who has been digging shallow graves), he shows flashes of menace. Even more stripped down that last year’s darkly humorous Blue Ruin, Cop Car shows flashes of brilliance in its unwastefulness, its dramatic irony.