In Theatres: 
Feb 10, 2012
Running Time: 
107 minutes
Did You Know:

Woody Harrelson thins out the more the film goes on. This was a natural process that Harrelson endured after asking fellow thespian Christian Bale how he did it in the film The Machinist.

Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson) is a old school cop who has exacted justice with extreme prejudice before and on other occasions dealt his authority with cruel brutality. It’s gotten him into trouble before, but now he’s been caught on tape beating a man senseless and is under review. Outside of his police work Dave lives with his two daughters and two of his ex-wives, sisters even (it isn’t really explained all that well in the film but I found that info on-line), who all look at him in various levels of disgust, except his youngest daughter, who is in fact a non-character.

I saw Harrelson promoting this movie on TV once. He was very excited and hoped that people liked it. When I saw the trailer for it I was hooked. I like movies about corrupt cops who are out to dispense vigilantly like justice to keep the streets clean outside of their lawful boundaries. Unfortunately the trailer for the film is a bit of misdirection and the film isn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be.

I think if I had to compare Rampart to anything it would be a mix of The Kids Are Alright and the Matt Dillon storyline in Crash. Other then that the film is basically another one of those Woody Harrelson downers where he plays the broken man who is down and out on his luck. He drinks, he smokes through most of the movie, loses his temper, takes drugs, roughs some people up, but as a film it lacks substance in a lot of area’s that would have helped redeem the film. For instance the film seems to revolve around the Hispanic population of  Los Angeles, he's constantly running into gangs,  there is often some chatter on the radio as Harrelson drives around that talks about illegal immigration. Is this all going somewhere? Will they start to put the pieces together to form some sort of mental aspect in Harrelson's character that will maybe justify his characters brutal action? No. Director Oren Moverman could have done so much with the story. Balancing contrasts between enviornment and social commentary, home stress mixed with work stress building to some kind of conclusion, anything. It's basically all tossed out to leave the films canvas for Harrelson to drag his character lower and lower into the depths for no real purpose. It’s basically just a plot that has nowhere to go but down and it succeeds with greatness. Not a likeable character in the entire film, a non-existent plot, a superbly lackluster finale. Rampart is just one of those really horrible films you might get tricked into watching and then removing from your memory immediately after the lights come up.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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