Cop Land (1997)
Reviewed on 2009 April 13
I’d caught bits of this thing at various times but never when I could sit down and watch the whole thing. After two back-to-back family parties, I decided on Easter night I wasn’t going to do a thing except sit down and finally watch this via On Demand. The parts I’d seen looked interesting, and it was even better than I expected.
Freddy Heflin (Sylvester Stallone) is the sheriff of Garrison, New Jersey, a town that becomes Cop-apalooza when a crew of NYPD cops decide to make it their home. Freddy always wanted to be a cop, but some physical limitations (plot point here) prevent that, so he’s initially content to be a sheriff and tackle issues like improper parking and trash disposal. When hell breaks loose one night for the nephew of hotshot cop Ray Donlan (Harvey Keitel), Freddy realizes how corrupt the supposedly ideal town (and police force) really is.
This is another movie that moves slowly but not in a draggy way — it just has a story to tell and isn’t going to rush things. I think Stallone is entertaining, but apart from his work in the first Rocky I never thought of him as anything except walking testosterone. Here he impressed me, convincingly portraying a plodding beta male that decided to settle for the life he was told he could have. Robert DeNiro has a great part as a determined lieutenant wanting to expose how vile Garrison’s Finest really are, but this is really Stallone’s moment.
Three chocolate morsels.