Reel Reviews | Copshop

by Charles Kirkland Jr.

A hitman goes to the extreme to take out his mark in the crime-action thriller, Copshop.

One night. Out in the hot Nevada sun.  After abandoning a disabled stolen police car, a stranger finds himself in the custody of the police.  Con-artist Teddy Murretto (Frank Grillo) feels like he is safe in his cell but when a drunk gets himself thrown into the cell across from him, he realizes he is far from safe.  The drunk is the famous hitman/bounty hunter Bob Viddick (Gerard Butler) and he has come to collect.

Written by Kurt McLeod and Joe Carnahan based on a story by Mark Williams and Kurt McLeod, Copshop stars Frank Grillo and Gerard Butler with Toby Huss, Alexis Louder, and Ryan O’Nan. It is directed by Joe Carnahan, the action master who also helmed Narc, Smokin’ Aces, The Grey, and The A-Team.

Copshop is just like all of Carnahan’s other movies with two exceptions.  First, this one is super-violent.  There is blood, splattered brains, and more blood.  Gunfire, explosions, and fire.  The closest movie to this one is Smokin’ Aces in its level of violence.  But somehow, Carnahan makes it look so super-slick and cool. 

The second exception is the story.  This is the real fault of the movie.  The plot of the movie is very simple.  In fact, the movie drags through the first hour because of a lack of a story.  Basically, this movie is just about the hitman getting his mark and everyone in the way.  The story is artfully told but is painstakingly slow and uninteresting until the violence starts. When the violence starts though, it is amazing.

While the movie is billed as Butler versus Grillo, the true star of the film is Alexis Louder who plays Officer Valerie Young. Louder (Harriet, The Tomorrow War) is a fiery, intelligent, and strong, and a serious female officer in the department.  Louder is an unexpected surprise in a breakout performance.  It’s very impressive how the diminutive actress commands the screen with every bit of strength as her two larger male counterparts.  Louder is the only good thing about the movie.

Rated R for strong/bloody violence and pervasive language, Copshop misses the mark.  Sadly, it falls down under the weight of its insane lack of direction and thought.  In other words, it’s a house built upon sinking sand.  The action is great but, its arrival is way too late to save it.  This shop should be closed. 

Copshop is playing on VOD and limited theaters. 

Grade:  C-