Cop Car Review
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Throughout his nearly four decades in the business, Kevin Bacon has had a pretty well-rounded career—to the point that most of Hollywood is connected to him by one or two degrees instead of six. He’s taken on a wide variety of roles, never shying away from dark, edgy films—including his low-budget thriller Cop Car.

Cop Car sets off on a wild and suspenseful joyride with a couple of 10-year-old runaways (James Freedson-Jackson and Hays Wellford) who discover an abandoned cop car in a field and decide to take it for a drive. What they don’t realize, however, is that the car belongs to a vicious local sheriff (Bacon)—and he’ll stop at nothing to get it back. So while the kids gleefully explore the country roads in their stolen ride, the sheriff begins a desperate (and deadly) search for his missing car.

Cop Car is a dark and gritty Coen-esque crime thriller—the suspenseful story of a crooked cop who’s unwavering in his quest to track down his stolen car. At times, the pacing is slower than necessary, taking its time to build up the action and suspense. And the film’s back story often feels maddeningly hazy, filled with questions that are never really answered. But Bacon is fittingly deranged as the volatile sheriff who’s got a thing or two to hide—and a whole lot at stake. And the longer he searches for the car, the more unhinged he becomes, scowling and growling his way through each new scene.

While Bacon’s performance is definitely noteworthy, though, it’s the kids who really make the film stand out—who throw the same old chase movie completely off-balance. After all, this dirty cop isn’t chasing after some ruthless criminal; he’s chasing after a couple of mostly innocent kids who aren’t nearly as tough as they’d like to believe they are. They steal the car out of curiosity and a sense of adventure, never giving a second thought to the consequences—which turn out to be far more serious than they could have even imagined. And while these two young characters give the film touches of innocence and humor—whether they’re challenging each other to drive as fast as the car will take them or playing around with weapons and crime scene tape—they also make the unfolding action all the more disturbing.

Simple and often quiet yet cleverly unconventional, Cop Car may not be quite as sharp as a Coen Brothers thriller, but it’s every bit as eccentric. So if you prefer crime thrillers that are more than just a little bit twisted, you’ll want to join this dirty cop on his deadly quest.

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