Rampart

In Rampart Woody Harrelson fucks, shoots, kills his way through law as a corrupt LAPD officer. It's a towering performance that show just how good this 40 year old actor can be. An Oscar nomination is in the waiting. The same can't be said for the movie - which doesn't rank in the same league as recent corrupt cop fare as Narc, Dark Blue or Training Day. The problem? Writer Director Oren Moverman - a former Israeli solider- doesn't really give his movie any real momentum, the material here deserves much more surprise and suspense than it gets. In his earlier film The Messenger, Moverman had enough solid scenes and core storytelling to get past the storytelling flaws, here he doesn't. Harrelson's corrupt cop is a shallow unlikeable man that has had kids with a set of two sisters and pimps his way in bars every night looking for a fuck. He's also in a deep media controversy after beating up a black guy while being secretly taped by a bystander. Moverman doesn't know where to take his movie. It's got a fascinating character at its core yet you're not as hooked to the story as you'd like to be. The subplots with his family are confusing and not properly explained ditto his relationship with his wheel-chair bound brother. Even worse, he has a bar hook up with an attractive sex addict -cleverly played by Robin Wright Penn- that leads to an underdeveloped friendship between the two. It's Harrelson that makes this one worth a look. He gets so under his character's skin that you actually do believe he's as nasty as he looks. It's a high wire act that Harrelson carries home, even when the movie around him falters.
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