Cop Car (2015)

A hearty slice of Bacon.

When I was growing up, my best friend Josh Barr and I would hop on our bikes, pedal to wherever, and find an adventure. Sometimes, that was jumping our bikes at the tar pits. Sometimes, it was building a fort in a shallow creek. Sometimes it was exploring and hiding in unfinished houses, holding our breath while prospective buyers did walkthroughs. It felt like a different time, when kids could just go, and we didn't worry about being kidnapped or worse. Our lone concern was getting in as much adventure as we could before we got called back to eat dinner. So what would we have done if we had found an abandoned cop car with the keys still inside?

Cop Car poses this question within it's youthful naïveté. The story is simply that - two ten year olds find a cop car in the middle of nowhere, and take it for a joyride. Unfortunately, it belongs to a very bad man.

It's modest on plot, but driven by it's characters. The main complaint I've seen about this movie is that the two main characters, two ten year old boys, are stupid. They're kids. They're not stupid, they're naive. In fact, the way they interacted and spoke reminded me of myself and my friends when I was little. One small throwaway line really cracked me up, as one of the kids kicks a locked gate. The other boy asks, "did it open?". The boy who kicked it replies, "Nope. Must be titanium." That's the mindset of these kids. They don't see real danger, they see an adventure without consequences. Kevin Bacon plays the sheriff with a crazy pornstache, and does so very well. He's creepy and he's worn. Another character, whom I won't spoil, is just as creepy and convincing playing his role.

Like most films, this one isn't perfect. The last twenty minutes or so is pretty drawn out, and I was very disappointed with the ending, which doesn't wrap the way I'd have liked it to. There's also a pivotal moment in a diner that just makes absolutely no sense - really, you look at the fish, and that tells you to take action? Yes, I know that's vague, but I like to give away as little as possible...it was just lazy, lazy screenwriting, and that's not the only example in here...a delayed hand gun reveal, odd editing choices, etc.

Overall, the good outweighs the bad with Cop Car, and I'd definitely recommend you see it just for the performances. It reminded me a lot of 2012's Mud, but not as good. Keep a lookout for Jon Watts, the director, as he's been tapped to direct the next Spider-Man film.

Final Score: B-