Journeyman director Joe Carnahan (The A-Team, Smokin’ Aces) has made a career of harking back to the muscle and mayhem of old-school action flicks. His latest, the jailhouse-set Copshop, is no different. It’s a male-heavy movie, fetishising firearms and other things that go bang and boom. A bit Assault on Precinct 13-lite, in other words.
In a slight departure from the formula, a woman takes charge this time around: Alexis Louder (Watchmen) steals the show from more established male co-stars like Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo as rookie cop Valerie, she’s the one straight arrow in a precinct full of pencil-pushers and corrupt officers. She’s a welcome break from the machismo unfolding around her.
Valerie soon has her hands full when she faces off against two crazed hitmen, played by a luxuriantly bearded Butler and Toby Huss, who are angling to kill a Nevada fixer (Grillo).
Carnahan knows his way around an action sequence and delivers moments of bruising brutality with impact. But the hard-boiled patter and attempts to generate pace are clunkier that a .45 Magnum thumping to the floor. If you’re looking for a grittily violent placeholder before, say, the next John Wick flick, look elsewhere.
In UK cinemas Sep 10.