Tearing through the Nevada desert in a bullet-ridden Crown Vic, wily con artist Teddy Murretto (Frank Grillo) hatches a desperate plan to hide out from lethal hitman Bob Viddick (Gerard Butler): He sucker-punches rookie officer Valerie Young (Alexis Louder) to get himself arrested and locked up in a small-town police station. Jail can’t protect Murretto for long, and Viddick schemes his own way into detention, biding his time in a nearby cell until he can complete his mission. When the arrival of a competing assassin (Toby Huss) ignites all-out mayhem, mounting threats force Viddick to get creative if he wants to finish the job and escape the explosive situation.
What We Thought:
I’m a big Joe Carnahan fan so I was looking forward to Copshop. Overall I did enjoy it, but you can guess who will survive by the end. It’s much more of a slow burn than what you expect from Joe, but it does have a cool 70s grindhouse flair to it. If you like Carnahan films you should like it too.
The royally underrated Frank Grillo plays con artist Teddy who punches a cop so he can be intentionally locked up in jail. He’s hoping jail will keep him safe from everyone out to get him. Teddy has pissed off all kinds of people and has bad guys and the authorities out for him. Alexis Louder plays the cop who gets punched and she starts looking into Teddy. Meanwhile a drunk almost runs over two cops and he gets locked up in the drunk tank. Except it’s not really a drunk, it’s Gerard Butler’s Bob Viddick, an assassin trying to get to Teddy.
The movie is pretty much a single location backdrop, the police station. I’d say about 95% of the film takes place there beyond scenes setting up characters to get there and some backstory. There are other cops, another inmate is locked up with Butler, and then Toby Huss walks in. Honestly, Huss might be my new favorite movie psychopath. He is absolutely batsh*t crazy in this and Butler’s character even defines him as a psychopath. Butler’s assassin is a professional, Huss’ Anthony Lamb is a psychopath. He’s brilliantly insane in the film and made me laugh constantly.
That’s what I love about Carnahan films, he mixes violence and comedy extremely well. There isn’t a lot of fighting in the flick despite starring Grillo and Butler, but there is still a fair share amount of violence. Once Louder’s character starts making decisions on who can get out, the film picks up steam and the bullets start flying. And there are plenty of one-liners to go along with the chaos. Butler and Grillo get some laughs, but it’s Huss that completely stole the film to me. Without him it’s quite a different movie.
Copshop was filmed last year in a few weeks during the pandemic. It feels like a throwback film for Carnahan. He’s usually way more over-the-top, but with the single location, it’s slower and builds up. I could tell who was getting out alive, but I can see myself watching it again. I think his film Boss Level (also starring Grillo that came out earlier this year) was better and more of what I expect from Joe, but Copshop might be worth seeing for Huss alone.
Distributor: Open Road Films
Directed By: Joe Carnahan
Written By: Kurt McLeod, Joe Carnahan
Starring: Gerard Butler, Frank Grillo, Alexis Louder, Toby Huss
Produced By: Mark Williams, Tai Duncan, Warren Goz, Eric Gold, Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo, Gerard Butler, Alan Siegel, James Masciello
Executive Producers: Tom Ortenberg, Matthew Sidari, Scott Putman, Robert Simonds, Adam Fogelson, John Friedberg
Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Release Date: September 17, 2021
Running Time: 107 minutes