Action / Crime / Drama


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April 27, 2012 at 02:03 AM



Brie Larson as Helen
Robin Wright as Linda Fentress
Woody Harrelson as David Douglas Brown
Jon Bernthal as Dan Morone
700.48 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 48 min
P/S 5 / 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by David Ferguson ([email protected]) 6 / 10

He hates everyone equally, so it's OK

Greetings again from the darkness. Dirty cops happen in real life sometimes and in the movies quite often. It can be an intriguing subject to explore ... psychological demons, ego, power-mongering, etc. Typically we see it presented as a cop torn between doing the right thing and feeling like he is owed something. Rarely do we see a cop portrayed as beyond hope ... so far gone morally that redemption is no longer even a possibility.

Writer James Ellroy (LA Confidential) and director Oren Moverman (The Messenger) present to us Officer Dave Brown, known to his fellow cops (and even his daughter) as "Date Rape" Dave. The moniker stems from a vice incident where Brown dished out street justice to a serial date rapist. With no proof of his guilt, Brown remained on the force and his rogue manner has escalated to the point where he is a constant danger to himself and others. This guy has no moral filter for everyday living.

Officer Brown is played with searing intensity by a Woody Harrelson you have never before seen. As loathsome a character as you will ever find, you cannot take your eyes off of him. He is hated by EVERYONE! Somehow he has daughters by two sisters and they all live together in a messed up commune where hate is the secret word of the day, every day. Most of the time no one speaks to Dave except to tell him to "get out". He spends his off hours drinking, smoking, doing drugs and having meaningless sex. Heck, that's just about how he spends his time while on duty as well.

The supporting cast is phenomenal, though most aren't given but a scene or two. This includes Robin Wright (who nearly matches Dave in the tortured soul department), Sigourney Weaver, Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon, Ned Beatty, Ben Foster, Ice Cube, and Steve Buscemi. The first hour feels like an Actor's Retreat as most every scene introduces another familiar face.

Still, as terrific as Harrelson is, and as deep as the cast is, the film is just too one note and downbeat and hopeless to captivate a viewer. I also found some of Moverman's camera work to be quite distracting and the sex club scene was pure overkill. Downward spiral is much too neutral a term to describe this character and ultimately, that prevents the film from delivering any type of message.

Reviewed by Matthew Stechel ([email protected]) 5 / 10

Harrelson Good...Wish Movie Were Better.

Always watchable largely thanks to Harrelson--he's really quite good---but never quite believable film tracks a couple days in the life of a not exactly dirty, but not exactly clean cop. To my mind, Harrelson's character isn't exactly dirty--we never witness him taking bribes, or stealing money, or looking the other way--he's just way overzealous in his pursuit of bad guys--actually scratch that--something happens at the mid-point that actually changes part of that last statement--but he still remains a clean(ish) cop trying to do right by society, even guys he claims to hate--he tries to give a fair shake to. Its that overzealousness that lands him in trouble tho---he beats 2 people in the first ten minutes of the movie--but in both cases i think they were both understandably beatings given the circumstances. Meh whatever, film starts piling things on for Harrelson--having been caught with a cell phone cam beating up the 2nd guy (who was running away from him!) he's then put on suspension, and then he gets put under investigation which leads to...not a whole lot honestly.

Film is a very shaggy dog story---Not much really happens throughout the movie other then just watching Woody Harrelson walk around and talk tough---he tries to bond with his teenage daughter, he tries to make it right with his ex wives, he tries to figure out what Internal Affairs wants to hear so he can get his job back, and yeah that's about it really. I feel like the events of the end don't really add up to much, and the big climactic scene at the ending is well again not much of anything really. Film is basically a 70's Esq character study of this guy and his life that seems to be arbitrarily falling apart around him. That said, the film's well shot, its nicely acted and not just by Harrelson, the actress playing his teenage daughter i feel scores just as many points as Woody does in their handful of scenes together. There's enough here that you wish it was better instead of the mish-mash stew we got going on here. still its worth a look on cable should you stumble on it.

Reviewed by Mustang92 1 / 10

Unbelievable how BAD this movie is

Where do I start??

Story Line & Story Logic:

1) I don't know about police in other cities, but here in Los Angeles (and most likely every major city in the U.S.), cops do NOT drive around policing their neighborhood beat by themselves -- there is ALWAYS two cops per car. Standard LAPD protocol, and is also a safety issue working the beat for the cops. Yet, in this movie, the cop working the beat out of the Rampart Division -- a notoriously dangerous/difficult part of LA -- works the beat by himself. Bullsh*t. Wouldn't happen, and didn't happen in 1999, when this movie takes place.

The movie starts out with the cop (Harrelson) teaching a newbie, who's driving with him, but that storyline is gone after the first 8 minutes or so of the movie. (And is an entirely pointless part of the story, other than to show this cop is a sexist.)

2) After he's caught beating the crap out of someone he was chasing, on camera, he is NOT removed from his beat, but stays on working his beat. (Or maybe he's removed for a little while, but is then back on the beat 20+ minutes later, with no explanation as to why he's back on the beat.) Sorry, filmmaker/Director/Writer of this horrible movie, but why is he back on the beat? Would NEVER happen. He would be suspended, with or without pay, but would not be back on the street until everything is entirely resolved. What LAPD brass -- in reality -- would ever allow a cop back on the street beat after a firestorm of protests, media, etc? Did the cops caught beating Rodney King (8 years prior to this film's timeline) go back on the street right after? NO. It's also a safety issue for the cop, and a race relations issue for the City, too.

Why do the filmmakers defy story logic, or even basic LAPD procedures like this? Are they that moronic in their storytelling? Apparently so.

3) Why call this movie "Rampart"? What's the point? This movie has nothing to do with the Rampart/LAPD scandal of the late '90s. Nothing. Even the backstory of the Rampart scandal has virtually nothing to do with this film's storyline. It appears as though the filmmakers are just "trading" on the Rampart name, and thus misleading prospective movie-goers that this will be about the LAPD & the Rampart scandal.

Few people outside of LA know anything about "Rampart," so this name means nothing to them and is pointless. The story is about a corrupt cop, period. It has nothing to do with any particular area of LA, and ultimately just adds tarnish to a part of LA.

The Movie Overall: I can not, could not, find one redeeming thing about this train wreck of a film. It's boring, it's redundant, it defies logical sense and typical police department procedures.

Here's an example of the redundant nature: Sometime after the midpoint of the film, Harrelson begins to show paranoia. Okay, so presumably the director wanted to show him sinking mentally. Fine. A couple scenes is plenty. Why show scene after scene after scene of him being paranoid, when that's the only purpose of those scenes? We got it, let's get on with the story. Oh... but there is no real story, that's the main problem with this film. Another reviewer said this film was like watching paint dry. That reviewer was too kind.

Here's an example of something else that would never happen with the LAPD: Late in the film, Harrelson is running out of money for his attorneys defending him (over his Rodney King-style beating), so he's going to bust up a neighborhood high-stakes poker game and steal their money. He's now nearby, by himself, and in uniform with his police car (remember, he's inexplicably still able to work his beat while under investigation for police misconduct/brutality). How is he going to "legitimately" bust up a poker game by himself with no backup? NEVER would happen. Even a corrupt cop couldn't do this and get away with it. Not in any major city in the U.S. For one thing, Vice would be involved, and secondly, no bust would be attempted without numerous officers. A single cop wouldn't/couldn't EVEN get the authority from his superiors to enter by himself.

So what happens? Instead of the director having to go through with this incredibly unrealistic storyline, he has 2 armed thugs show up and rob the game, with Harrelson looking on. (They were not in "partnership" with Harrelson, although that approach in the story would have been more plausible.) The thugs run out, and one of the poker players runs out chasing after the armed thugs. (Yeah, riiiight... an unarmed poker player is going to chase armed thugs down the street....) So Harrelson runs after them all, shooting & killing the innocent poker player and wounding one of the robbers. He then tells the wounded robber to take some of the money out of the robber's bag for himself and split, and then plants a gun in the innocent poker player's hand. So if we didn't think Harrelson was bad enough at this point, we can now dislike him even more.

This movie is a COMPLETE MESS, with no real story, just a bunch of scenes strung together with the same sh*t happening in every scene. There's an attempt to show that Harrelson is old LAPD and the department is changing, but this is NOT a developed storyline. How did the Director/Writer even get financing for this piece of crap?? I'll tell ya this: The movie will make no money when it's released (supposedly in January), and if this Director wants a career as a Director, he'd better learn how direct and tell a cogent story.

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