Gerard Butler in a thriller? Who could have guessed?! That’s right, the Scottish actor next stars in Copshop, a thriller flick directed by Joe Carnahan that also features Frank Grillo, Alexis Louder, Toby Huss, and Ryan O'Nan. In the action film, wily con artist Teddy Murretto (Grillo) hatches a plan to hide out from lethal assassin Bob Viddick (Butler). He punches rookie officer Valerie Young (Louder) to get himself arrested and locked up in a police station in a small town. However, jail can't protect Murretto for long as Viddick soon schemes his own way into detention, biding his time in a nearby cell until he can complete his mission. When the arrival of another assassin ignites all-out chaos, mounting threats force Viddick to get creative if he wants to finish the job and escape the explosive situation.
Copshop releases in theaters this Friday, September 17, and critics have started releasing their reviews. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Based on our very own Dirk Libbey’s review, Copshop might not be worth a watch. He noted that Butler and Grillo bring in their star power, but that’s pretty much it. There isn’t even much interesting action, which is disappointing given those two names. Libbey did complement Louder’s performance and considered her the breakout star of the thriller. But he was pretty let down by the film, even the finale, which was meant to be badass but totally fell flat. Here’s what he had to say:
A status quo is maintained for about half of Copshop's runtime, and it simply isn't filled with enough story to keep audiences interested.
Chris Evangelista from SlashFilm had a bit more of a positive opinion about Copshop, but still thought the thriller wasn’t too terribly… thrilling. While he noted that Butler and Grillo have played these kinds of roles many times before, it’s still fun to watch their “sleazy charm” on the screen. Evangelista thought the action flick was “pulpy trash,” but in a good way, a trashy movie that knows it’s trash and is okay with that. But he commented that the movie could have been so much better, as characters like Louder’s aren’t very interesting and the action doesn’t kick in until it’s too late. Overall, he said:
In the end, Copshop is aggressively okay, and that'll probably be more than enough for most viewers.
David Lewis from the San Francisco Chronicle was pretty disappointed with the action thriller. He criticized many aspects of the film, from the lack of proper setups, the absence of character development, to the slow pacing. Lewis also thought it was hard to care about any of the characters and didn’t even include interesting action sequences (which is a bummer for an action movie). Lewis noted:
We’re supposed to be taking a fun thrill ride here, with a little existentialism to boot, but Copshop can’t escape its arrested development.
Wes Greene from Slant Magazine enjoyed the “disarming” humor in Copshop, giving the demented character of Anthony Lamb (played by Toby Huss) as an example. He thought Huss’s rambunctious Lamb was a delightful highlight of the film, and argued that if more of the characters had his spirit, it would have been more interesting. Greene also enjoyed the action and suspense in the thriller, which is certainly a different outlook than we’ve seen from other critics. Overall, he commented:
With its pulpy thrills, hyperbolic dialogue, charismatic scumbags, and a score heavy in electronic effects and percussion, Copshop coasts on a gnarly old-school vibe.
While we’ve seen critics criticizing the pacing and lack of proper setups in the action movie, Phil Hoad from The Guardian actually thought Carnahan kept everything “lean and mean.” He applauded the inclusion of Butler and Louder, though he noted that Grillo’s casting caused Copshop to be void of character differentiation. Hoad also enjoyed the “smart-aleck” dialogue and gratuitous violence in the thriller, calling it:
A film directed with a vaulting B-movie energy, down to a classy coda.
Well, that was... mixed. You might enjoy Copshop more than these critics, and you can check it out this Friday, September 17.
Until then, you can plan your next movie-going experience with our new movie release guide.