Kevin Bacon was great but this thriller simply lacked thrills and left just a little too much to the viewers imagination to try and cover some plot holes.
A sheriff from a rural town pursues two kids who have stolen his police car, unaware of the actions the sheriff was involved in when they took it.
I had some high hopes for this film after seeing the trailer and always enjoy a good performance from Kevin Bacon, in particular when it appears he may be the antagonist. For that aspect this film delivered. Bacon was fun, creepy and methodical as the do-no-good sheriff and his aviator glasses and mustache are an amusing addition.
Bacon felt like a more sinister version of Jim Carrey’s character Hank from “Me, Myself and Irene” and the similarities naturally roused a chuckle during some of his moments, where he tries his best to keep his cool.
The two young actors; James Freedson-Jackson and Hays Wellford also came in with some plausible performances. They felt the part of two boys who held a tight bond, with one being the dominant to the other in terms of peer pressure. Their dynamic built some interest early on (despite their mindless dialogue) as there were some hints of them having ran away but for what reason, we do not yet know. The alluding to character back-drops is often fun at building interest, thus pulling you into the film, but in this one it seemed to be too much of a trend, to the point of not enabling the viewer to pour their full attention into the script.
** Spoilers Below **
Even when there is a couple bodies found inside the trunk of the car there is never really any build-up to the connection between these men and the sheriff, or why they were in the trunk in the first place. There is a fine line in films when hints about backdrops can make you think, and other times it being so vague to the point of forcing the viewer to simply assume.
“Cop Car” felt as if it were lacking motivation in its direction. All these instances where things were simply hinted at became much too repetitive and kept me from being able to build interest in the characters or their outcomes, other then of course wanting the two young boys to survive from their mere innocence alone. It did not help that the script built a nice setting to an interesting story will some beautifully shot settings of the vast Colorado country-side, then failed to keep the flow of the story going as it seemed to drag its feet through much of the second-act.
For a movie to be labeled a thriller, lacking such thrills should not be a topic of conversation. The story never really built any strong tension that could have really made the most of this interest plot idea. The run-time was short which was a saving grace and the third-act of the film was strong enough to make the film worth a watch. The camera-work was great and the end of the film delivered some suspenseful moments that could have had much more impact if the bulk of the story before it had not been so slow.
In the end “Cop Car” was not a bad film but not exactly the tense thriller the trailer may lead you to believe. There are still some intriguing characters, with a couple boys who are relatable enough to make you root for their success. There was strong performance from Bacon that could have made been much more memorable with a script that had a little more meat to it. Instead it relied too much on the viewer to make their own assumptions.