Copshop was one of the only films I saw in theaters this year and I am so glad I did. I was hoping it would get a 4K release but 1080p will do.
The film itself is very pulpy and proudly displays it's '70s inspiration from the opening title scene. Dialogue is appropriately over the top and frequently hilarious; a potent mix of dark humor and grave seriousness. The movie flows at a brisk pace but doesn't show it's hand too early - you won't see the twists coming until the moment before they happen, which is incredibly satisfying as an audience member.
The plot focuses on two men (Butler and Grillo) in a NV police lock-up after hours. Things quickly unravel and we realize their relationship is more complicated than it seems. Enter Alexis Louder, one of the cops working the night shift at the police station. Louder's character is determined to get to the bottom of things but finds herself in over her head as the plot thickens (I'm being intentionally vague on specific plot points) and the action really picks up. There are some really great moments of suspense (the film gives off strong Assault on Precinct 13 vibes) and while there isn't a lot of sustained action, the action itself is white-hot and well filmed. There are some violent scenes but Carnahan doesn't linger on the blood and gore. For example, at one point in the film, a character is riddled with bullets (spoiler alert, people die in this movie). The camera focuses on the gunman and we see blood splatter across an adjacent wall, rather than seeing the body being shot full of holes. It's more 'Die Hard' than 'John Wick' in that regard, where the severity of the violence is inferred by the viewer, rather than having it thrust in their face. The tension ramps up until the finale when things get turned up to 11 and the film goes out with a well-deserved bang.
Butler and Grillo do a great job, as does Chad Coleman, who plays the exasperated (and somewhat cliché, but in a fun way) Sgt. at the police station. However, it's Alexis Louder who completely steals the show. Her performance as a rookie officer who served in the military truly shines. Intelligent, capable, witty and beautiful, Louder is a force to be reckoned with. Much like her 90s contemporary John McClane, she's not perfect or invincible: she makes mistakes and learns from them, lending a strong sense of believability and likeability to the character. If nothing else, Louder is irrefutable proof that you can have a lead in an action film who is NOT a white male. Eschewing tired Hollywood tropes, not once in the film is she sexualized in any way, and at no point is her gender used to enforce female stereotypes. Louder is never discounted, underestimated or looked down upon because of her gender or race in this film.
Copshop is easily one of my favorite films of 2021 (it ranks up there with Bond and Dune for me) and I highly recommend picking up this Blu-Ray. I was surprised at how many low reviews this film had on here but after reading some of them, it became clear why... Obviously, film is extremely subjective and in this day and age it's so easy to watch movies that nearly everyone can do it and everyone has an opinion about them. We're inundated with a deluge of formulaic superhero flicks and boilerplate straight to VOD action movies, both of which are desensitizing our already dwindling attention spans and subconsciously conditioning us to expect the same thing over and over. Where was I going with this.... TLDR: don't buy into the negative reviews; not everyone understands film and people love to complain about stuff.