Archive for the ‘Rampart’ Category

Rampart – review


Woody Harrleson stars as chain-smoking, hard ass, L.A. cop Dave Brown (think Denzel Washington from Training Day meets Nicolas Cage from Bad Lieutenant).  He works out of the Rampart station, hence the name of the film.  He has two daughters, from two different sisters played by Anne Heche, and Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City).  He lives with this strange extended family who deal with him, but are more than likely fed up with him and his drunken womanizing ways. 

Dave’s buddies on the force call him “Date Rape Dave”, because he once shot and killed an alleged rapist, although he may have done it out of vengeance and not by the book.  It seems Dave may be some what of a vigilant police officer, and one day he makes a mistake.  His police car is ran into by a civilian, and he chases the civilian down and beats him mercilessly, which just so happens to all be caught on tap.

Before he knows it he’s in a world of trouble as the media exploits the footage, and the public wants his head on a stake for it.  The precinct also now has to deal with all of the questions that have arisen about the assault, and Dave’s prior altercations.

As this is going on, Dave enters into a relationship with an attorney, Linda (Robin Wright), that he randomly runs in to at a bar.  The relationship seems completely artificial, and doesn’t really add a lot to the story.  Dave’s family dynamic, while it is a little strange and interesting, also muddies the story up more then it helps it.  The real story is how he tries to explain the assault and the past, and these subplots to nothing in the way of adding to that story.  Instead they go off on tangents that take away from what really is a compelling main plot.

Other random characters pop in and out as well like a homeless crackhead played by Ben Foster, one of the films producers.  This little interjection is actually something that I would have liked to see more of in the film.  Cop has his snitch in the streets, that knows the lay of the land sort of thing.  Dave gets deeper and deeper, and tries to find a way out of this mess, but in do I really care, about the mess, or Dave for that matter?

In the end Harrleson is entertaining, and he’s quite good in this role, but the film falls a little flat by being a little bit too jumbled and not engaging enough.

Grade:  B-