peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2020 10 25 Cop


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Another entry on Roger Ebert's list of the best movies of 1988. James Woods is angry, restless and high-energy in every scene, with the idea being that if he's moving all the time we won't stop to think about how little we understand the setup. Self-accused feminist/poet/bookshop owner Lesley Ann Warren momentarily lends some ballast to the plot in her first scene. Later ones confuse us by demonstrating her lack of political conviction. It's got the psychological something of Se7en, Silence of the Lambs etc. but nothing like the coherence or success; it's not persuasive and hardly tries to be.

Ebert gave it three stars as a meta-commentary by Woods on the Dirty Harry genre. Janet Maslin is right: the humorous intro featuring a black hep-cat trying to report a murder to the LAPD may have been the high point. It made me think this thing would have a pulse, like To Live and Die in L.A.