Cop Land Movie Review

Cop Land was supposed to do for Sylvester Stallone what Pulp Fiction did for John Travolta. Alas, the movie was (rightly) ignored by audiences and shrugged off by critics, thanks to an almost complete lack of anything so much as resembling a compelling story.

The plot is so simple as to defy description: A lot of New York cops live across the water in Jersey, and it turns out they are all beholden to the mob. It's up to fat, half-deaf Sheriff Freddy (Sly) to expose this atrocity!!! Would that there were more to say, Cop Land builds its "mystery" by simply not telling you what's going on. Only after an hour or so do you piece together the whole mob angle, and then the audience realizes, "Hey, there's nothing happening here!" Note to Mangold: Watch L.A. Confidential a few times if you want to see how clever plot structure goes, not to mention throwing in a little wit here and there.

The movie is so childishly droll it barely merits discussion, but I give it some credit for keeping me awake, mainly because of Garofalo's three minutes of screen time and the presence of Cathy Moriarty. Not that I like her acting; I just enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out whether or not she's a drag queen.

Now on a collector's edition DVD, you can check out two tiny deleted scenes, storyboards, and a dull feature commentary ("I heard there was this script...") to figure out where everything went wrong. At least Stone appears on the commentary track, though he has little to say.


Cop Land Rating

" Grim "

Rating: R, 1997


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