I watched a new film from director / co-writer Jon Watts (“Clown”, “The Fuzz”) today, entitled “Cop Car”.
Two young boys, Harrison (Hays Wellford – “Carver”) and Travis (James Freedson-Jackson), are walking through fields, having seemingly run away from home. As they walk they repeat swear words and generally messing about. Travis appears to be the braver and more assertive of the pair, with Harrison following his friend’s lead.
They come across a police car parked in a lightly wooded area and, after checking to make sure no one is around, make their way to it and find that it’s unlocked. Having pretended to drive the car off a cliff things take an exciting turn for the boys when Travis discovers the keys and manages to start the car. They drive off through the fields having a ball, starting the sirens and daring each other to drive as fast as they can.
The film then backtracks to before the boys had found the car. We see Sheriff Kretzer (Kevin Bacon – “Footloose”, “Death Sentence”) arrive in his police car and stop in the wooded area.
Kretzer – who sports a frankly amazing moustache – drags a body from the boot of his car and slowly drags it away on a tarpaulin, deep into the woods, where he dumps the body into a hole. When he returns to his car he discovers that it has disappeared.
From then on it’s a tense game of cat and mouse as the clearly dodgy Kretzer uses his wiles to try to track down the two boys and retrieve his car.
Just when things couldn’t seem to get more fraught with danger for the boys they find someone else locked in the boot of the police car – the thing is, should they free him or not and is he a good guy or a bad guy?…
This is essentially a three character movie, with the vast majority of the action taking place around Kretzer and the two boys.
I was really impressed by the acting of Wellford and Freedson-Jackson. They really came across well as the slightly rebellious ten year old kids who try to have a bit of illicit fun and find themselves in well over their heads. As for Bacon – he’s a million miles away from his “Footloose” days and you can feel the desperation and cunning coming from his character.
Visually this is a film with a real feeling of space. There aren’t loads of unnecessary characters or complex plot twists. The story unreels itself slowly as the boys’ day progresses towards a climax that they couldn’t possibly foretell, and I’d say that the viewer isn’t likely to get there before them either.
I was very impressed by this low-key thriller movie and would certainly recommend it for viewing…