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Critic Reviews for Cops
Buster Keaton's brilliantly subversive two-reeler film boils with frantic anarchic hilarity.
Audience Reviews for Cops
You start out trying to be the man your girl wants you to be and end up with every cop in the city after you. The set-up of clever coincidences segues into a 15 minute or so chase scene. Keaton was an early master of chase scenes and many of his early shorts like this were basically set-up/chase scene. This isn't his best, but they're all good.
I think that maybe the whole silent era slapstick thing is really starting to grow on me, and it's probably because of this little 18 minute two reeler. Keaton palys a guy trying to impressive a girl, and does so by trying to become successful in business. Through a convoluted series of events and mix ups, he gets into a lot of trouble, and basically this film is just a really funny version of the classic Hitchcock formula, with a bit of subversion as well. It's a little bit of a slow start up, but once this gets going, it becomes one mother of a chase movie. It's really clever, and Keaton's growing on me as the comedic master he gets trumped up as being. I think I get it here. His timing was good, and he really knew how to take a simple scenario, ramp it up to all kinds of crazy, and really let loose. That, and the ending is just dynamite, especially given the time for which this was made. If you can track a copy of this down, see it. It might not be long, but it's definitely a fun watch.
While Buster Keaton never thought much of "Cops" it has become one of the greatest comedy two-reelers of all time! The film is another chase film but this time there are literally dozens and dozens of cops giving chase to Buster after another series of unfortunate events. The idea of Buster evading literally a town of cops in athletic superiority is almost like watching a culmination of Buster's entity as the confident and always one step ahead being that he had become. The ending, which I won't spoil, isn't the traditional "happy ending" and is hilarious for being so! The film consists of a setup first reel that is still gag filled but slower in it's build up that leads and adds to the second reel in which the full chase takes place. While not consistently frantic the whole film the buildup is definitely the reason the second half is so brilliant!
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