DVD RvReview: Rampart
After hamming it up in Hunger Games, Woody Harrelson returns to playing a psycho with Rampart. But is his bad cop/bad cop routine any, uh, good? Ross McG finds out…
Rampart (two stars)
There are dirty cops and then there is Dave Brown, played with scowling vulgarity by Woody Harrelson in Rampart. Unfortunately, what sets Brown apart from more memorable entrants to the dirty cop canon is that he is so charmless, his actions so irredeemable horrible, that he somehow becomes forgettable. He has none of the chutzpah of Nicolas Cage’s Bad Lieutenant, nor the renegade glint in his eye of Clint’s Harry Callahan. Brown doesn’t so much play by his own rules, but grab the rule book by the neck, have sex with it, call it a whore and then shoot it. So why is the film so incredibly dull? The problem with Rampart isn’t Harrelson, who is tremendous, but a story that goes nowhere. The film is named after Brown’s police precinct, but the intriguing corruption there is sidelined to concentrate on drawn out scenes of Woody acting out very bad things. Perhaps writer James Ellroy (LA Confidential, Dark Blue) felt he would just be going over old ground.
This review first appeared in the Metro newspaper
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