Cop Land Reviews
"No One Is Above The Law"
Cop Land is a solid, suspenseful, and thrilling cop/crime drama. It has a large and great cast, including Sylvester Stallone(in one of his best roles ever), Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, and Michael Rapaport. This is also one of the first films from director James Mangold, and his writing, while slightly messy at times, is what manages to make the movie more than just a star driven vehicle and into a truly good film.
Cop Land is about a city in New Jersey, where most of the residents and NYPD officers that live there despite working in New York City. The reason they live there, they say, is to get away from a city that calls them the filth. Early on, a young officer nicknamed Superboy is driving home when a car sideswipes him and rushes off. He gives chase and mistakes something in the passengers hand for a gun, after his tire blows. He ends up shooting at the vehicle and killing both black passengers. His uncle is a big name cop in New York, who started the cop movement into Garrison, New Jersey. When no gun is found in the car of the deceased, Superboy is claimed to have jumped from the bridge to his death to avoid the investigation that was to come. But there's a lot more at work here than that. Soon a internal affairs officer shows up in Garrison to talk to the sheriff, and tells him he believes Superboy is still alive and that there's a lot more going on Garrison then meets the eye.
When I see movies that have such a large and great cast, I expect them to be character driven all the way. But characters don't drive this film, Mangold's story does. The story is well thought out and executed, and I enjoyed all the elements of it. It was as satisfying of a film of this genre type that I've seen.
I can't recommend this one enough, especially if you are into crime, cop, or mob films. It's a film that is extremely underrated and never really talked about, but one that definitely packs a punch and is engrossing and entertaining throughout. Do yourself a favor and give this one a look.
Sometime in the 1970's, police officers from New York wanted a safe haven to live, away from the dangers of the streets of New York, this is when they established a "Cop Land" in the small New Jersey town of Garrison. Freddy Heflin who was always admired by the New York cops wanted to become one, but because he was deaf in one ear this prevents him from achieving his goal, but has become sheriff of Garrison. Recently there have been a dark omen surrounding the New York cops, and Freddy is now investigating on this case, then Internal Affairs officer Mo Tilden is also on the case and asks Freddy for help, but Freddy could not. Now Freddy suspects that a New York cop named Ray Donlan might be one of the many cops who is corrupted by the mob and other criminals. Now, Freddy must find a cop who is nicknamed "Superboy" who can testify against Donlan and protect him, before Donlan finds super boy and kills him.
Quite a huge star cast, good cops, bad cops, corruption, internal affairs, The Mob ? probably not as exciting as this cast should be able to bring to the table, but none the less an interesting tale and certainly worthy of watching.
I remember first hearing about this film and the cast and thinking why in the hell Stallone was in this. He was going to ruin this film. I have to honestly say that Stallone's performance as Freddy Heflin, the small town sheriff of Garrison is Sylvester Stallone's greatest performance of his career. And yes, I am counting Rocky.
Cop Land is about a small town called Garrison, New Jersey that is right at the bottom of the George Washington bridge and faces New York City. It's a town built by cops from the city in an attempt to get out. The problem is that many of Garrison's cops are crooked and the recent shooting incident involving one of the officers drags internal affairs into the town and investigating what goes in in the precinct and the town of garrison itself. This leaves Sheriff Heflin (Stallone) right in the middle.
With a cast like this the acting is going to be excellent. Keitel and Robert Patrick as rogue cops. Liotta as the coke head undercover cop. Frank Vincent commits a real stretch as a union president. Writer/director James Mangold creates a story that is a compelling piece that is really a woe-is-me story from the point of view of Heflin. The sheriff is a disabled (lose of hearing in one ear from saving the local beauty queen in a submerged car) NYPD wannabe that most of the community sees as a Barney Fife. This is why the film isn't typical Stallone. This character is overweight, and almost wishy-washy. This isn't Rambo or Cobra, but a guy in a rut that he knows he'll never be able to get out of and at times he's too afraid to do anything about it otherwise he'll upset the status quo.
Cop Land is a cop movie like no other and is certainly under rated as hell. I never realized it buy it has come to my attention that this is almost like a modern day western, ala Shane or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, where a reluctant protector has to go above and beyond to save his town. A man's gotta do...
There are so many talented actors in Cop Land that most of 'em just have few scenes, like Mr De Niro. The only minor problem is Michael Rapaport. Never liked him that much...
The story is interesting, pretty typical cop story but the way Mr Mangold has directed it, makes it different from other similar movies. Here he shows us of what is to come (Girl, Interrupted, Walk the line...).
I will always remember this one as Sly's most memorable and best effort as of today. Recommended!