This film has a slow beginning and a suspect ending. I don’t know if it’s going to win many fans because of that, as well as the fact that it’s not a movie that has gotten too much exposure. When I heard that the film would have a darkly comedic streak I was a bit hesitant, I prefer these types of movies to be stone cold (hear that, Quentin Tarantino?) but it turns out the black comedy probably saved this movie and made it interesting enough to try out. I remember comedic Kevin Bacon, it’s been a while since I’ve seen him, but the guy has it in him.
The film sees two kids run away from home then steal a cop car that is suspiciously abandoned in the countryside. The car belongs to corrupt cop Kevin Bacon, who is up to no good. Now he must retrieve the vee-hickle before dispatch finds out what he was up to. Because you know, two midget COD players running rampant in your squad car isn’t going to help. The two child actors in this movie, James Freedson-Jackson and Hays Well feature prominently in this movie for the first 15 minutes or so. It almost appeared like it was going to be a Stand By Me-type coming of age drama and I thought this is different from what I’d imagined.
Then, Bacon shows up and stars jamming a body down a shaft, followed by 50lbs of quicklime. Bacon’s sardonic tongue in cheek turn elevates things – although the two kid actors are natural pros and not in the slightest annoying. Serial creep Shea Whigham also shows up, always good to see him, check him out in Tigerland and The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. He keeps the movie interesting and his threats towards the minors’ pets and families (can grannies talk with slit throats?) were legit hilarious.
While the ending feels rushed – almost like one or more actors had to leave due to schedulin, and Bacon seems to do a lot of aimless wandering around, Cop Car is a fairly watchable minimalist affair and for the most part has a lot going for it.