MOVIE REVIEW – In Copshop, Teddy Murretto does not seem to be able to catch a break. He is on the run from the mob after a deal went wrong, and hitmen are on his tail. In fact, he is so unlucky that he ends up in a police station locked up with one of them. Sadly for Valerie Young, a rookie cop dealing with Murretto’s stay for the night at the precinct is about to worsen.
Copshop is a movie directed by Joe Carnahan and stars Gerald Butler as Bob Viddick, a professional hitman, and Frank Grillo as Teddy Murretto, the con artist. The two main leads are supported by Alexis Louder, playing the rookie cop Valerie Young.
While the setup and the overall plot seems a bit cliché and generic, I also had my reservations about this movie, mainly since even the trailers sold it a bit too safe. There was no R-Rated trailer for this, and the trailers set this up as a fun, wacky comedy with some shootings. That might be a detriment for the movie, and hopefully, good word of mouth will carry the movie to success.
Cause this movie is, while comedic in tone, is in reality, a hyper-violent, one location shootout with some brutal torture scenes throughout the film.
Assault on Precinct Nevada
The story takes place over one night in a remote police prescient in Nevada. Teddy Murretto gets himself arrested by sucker-punching the local cops so that the hitman has no way of getting to him. Sadly for Teddy, the hitman has the same idea, and both of them end up in the same place. With matters being further complicated when a rival hitman shows up by the name of Anthony Lamb. From there on, chaos, gunfights, and banter erupt as Valerie tries to survive the night and live through the crossfire.
The director Joe Carnahan seems to love balance comedy and brutal violence, as he directed such movies as Smokin Aces, Narc, and Boss Level. He also seems to love working with Frank Grillo and has him on speed dial for whatever action movie he produces, writes or directs, as Frank ends up in most of his films in some capacity. His acting is good, and he works as a conman, always trying to win over Valerie to be let out and leave the precinct. The banter between his character and Gerard Butler’s character is well written and was funny when it needed to be, or serious when the scenes required, there was no clashing of tones or issues with their delivery or their lines.
This Lamb Is A Bit Too Raw
On the other hand, the rival assassin played by Toby Huss, named Anthony Lamb, was a mixed bag for me in this movie. Gerard Butler’s character introduces him while having a debate with Teddy Muretto about how he is a professional hitman, and the real psycho is Lamb: “Now that’s a psychopath” – Pointing to Tony, who is on the other side of the bulletproof door.
Except for the script, the movie never really gives anything psychotic or crazy besides just shooting the local cops at the precinct. He came off as a talkative hitman that was a bit wacky and seemed surprisingly merciful compared to what Viddick does in one scene to a certain character. Some of Lamb’s dialogue was also a bit drowned out by certain scenes, primarily due to the Southern accent the character does, so if you do not like the Southern USA accent, his character might lose you a bit in certain scenes.
In the end, maybe Teddy was right, and both Lamb and Vidick are both psychopaths, with one being clean and efficient but a bit too talkative, and the other, while quiet, and professional is a bit of a sadist.
A Fun Shoot Out For Everyone
Copshop is a fun trip of violence, and banter, that while it has only one primary location, the director and the script uses that location well enough to satisfy all of our action scene needs.
It is one of the most brutal movies of 2021 in terms of action movies, and while it does not reach slasher movie type of gore. It has some pretty unsettling scenes, elevating the film from the typical PG-13 rated action movies that have a higher budget but not well-directed action scenes.
If you just want to relax and enjoy some cool action scenes and banter between Butler and Grillo’s character, plus some fun twists and turns, then this movie is for you. Plus, while the setup is cliché, the characters stay on point; there is no redemption or deus ex machina in terms of personality changes or heart of gold moment. The conman stays a conman, the assassin stays an assassin, and the cop stays a cop, which to me felt like a breath of fresh air in terms of storytelling.