November 30, 2011

MOVIES: Rampart (Oren Moverman, 2011)

There is corruption and evil in the world. Now that you know this, you have no need to see Rampart.

The movie's getting a one-week release here in LA as a long-shot Oscar bid for Woody Harrelson, who stars as a corrupt cop. It's set in 1999, at the height of the corruption scandal in the Rampart Division of the LAPD. Harrelson is a detective working out of Rampart who's caught on tape beating a guy nearly to death; he suspects that the presence of the video camera (they weren't yet part of every single cell phone in the world) is too big a coincidence, and that he's been set up by the department to distract the media from the bigger, more complicated Rampart scandal. That might be true, but the problem he has in making that case is that he really is a hateful, loathsome, incredibly corrupt cop.

There's a large cast of terrific actors surrounding Harrelson -- Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Cynthia Nixon, Anne Heche, Ned Beatty, Steve Buscemi, Ice Cube -- but none of them have been given anything to do that might distract from Harrelson's hamming it up. He's evil, by god, and so determined for us to know it that he's a mere mustache twirl from being Snidely Whiplash.

Not worth your time.


Topiary for a Free World! said...

Thanks for saving me the price of admission on this turkey. I marginally liked Woody H in Zombieland but that was such a great movie it would have been great even without him.

As for Robin Wright, any time I see Princess Bride I always think how much better it would have been with Helena Bonham Carter in the lead instead of Robin.

Keith said...

Oh dear. Can't go along with you on that one, I'm afraid. Helena Bonham Carter is to movies what parsley is to food: If adding it is an improvement, you might as well toss the whole thing out and start over, because it's going to be inedible.