Two kids take off with a police vehicle, belonging to none other than the country sheriff, played by Kevin Bacon. But who is the real criminal?
My interest was always going to be drawn to what Jon Watts did next when he crept onto the horror scene last year as the writer/director of a sinister, jagged little movie produced by Eli Roth by the name of Clown. What he now presents us with is a Coen-esque comedy thriller, albeit with a distinct lack of violence; a trait not too uncommon with his debut feature, which skimped on the gore factor.
Cop Car had a few pleasant surprises in store for me, mostly in Bacon’s performance. He’s funnier than I thought he was, both expressively and physically. And he’s a better actor than I thought he was. He may have spent three years playing an alcoholic FBI agent with the weight of the world on his shoulders, but Fox’s The Following was as dramatic as it was violent, meaning most scenes were packed wall to wall with dialogue. It becomes too easy to forget that those skilled at their craft can convey an emotion or a story to an audience without saying a single word. And Bacon does it so well.
The two boys keep things eerily authentic. They are young. They are up to no good. And they are stupid. So fucking stupid. I’m not kidding. Their foolishness is nail-biting. Let’s just say that I am not fond of guns, and judging from how worn the edge of my seat is, I never will be!
I had hoped for a gorier sequel to Clown, to expand upon its mythology if nothing else, but it appears Watts has been bitten by the Spidey-bug as far as future projects are concerned. Will Cop Car be the last remnants of a talented film-maker before Hollywood devours his sanity? Will the power of silence be lost to the deafening roar of mindless action sequences and bland string-led soundtracks? Time will tell. Until then I had forgotten what a good villain Bacon could be. Thanks for the reminder, Mr Watts.