I've been Jonesing for a good action film for quite some time. Due to the Covid pandemic most all film production came to a halt for over a year and left a gaping hole in that genre. Not that there aren't some decent action films on streaming venues, mostly dubbed and from other countries, but there's been a lack of real gut-punching American-made dog-eat-dog action films.
So here comes "COPSHOP", a virtual treasure trove of action delights. It's just loaded with rich over-the-top action; some great in-your-face dialogue, sleazy characters, corrupt cops, big shootouts, and everything else you can cram into an hour and 45 minutes. Ah, the joy!
There's one more element I didn't expect, a star-making performance by, remember this name you're going to see it a lot, Alexis Louder. She steals the show from the very first scene and powerfully carries that weight throughout the film. That's quite a feat when you're up against the likes of Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo, but one she seems born to deliver.
Here's The Storyline…
Finding himself in the New Mexico desert with no place left to run, con artist Teddy Murretto (Grillo) devises a plan to save himself from lethal hitman Bob Viddick (Butler). The plan is simple, get arrested and have the police protect you. So he sucker punches Valerie Young (Louder), a rookie cop, and winds up in the slammer. Meanwhile, Viddick, who was watching it go down, arranges to get arrested for drunk driving to also get into jail and find a way to assassinate Teddy.
What neither of the bad guys realizes is the simple fact that rookie cop Valerie herself is extremely lethal, and she intends to stand her ground against them and the other psychopath (Huss) who shows up. It becomes a raging torrent of exploding mayhem that's just a delight to see.
If you "check your brain at the door" and just go with the action, you'll love the fun each of the stars are having eating up the scenery like it's a prime steak. You rarely get to see that anymore.
As always Butler is great, though this time he lets the situation carry the ball, and Grillo turns out to be the perfect foil for him. They make a great cinematic team; I'd like to see them do more together.
However, the absolute joy of the film for me was watching Alexis Louder steal the entire film from them. Now I have to go back and see her in the "Tomorrow War" and "Watchmen", to grasp what I missed. I also have director Joe Carnahan's films on my, got-to-see list; he did a masterful job delivering the goods on this one, it's probably not the first time.
My take… If you just sit back and take "COPSHOP" for what it is, a good American action flick, you'll find it one big exciting ride from start to finish.