Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Copkiller (aka Cop Killers, aka Corrupt, aka Corrupt Lieutenant, aka Order of Death)

A dirty cop (Harvey Keitel) is living it up in his swanky, illegally bankrolled downtown apartment when he's paid an unexpected visit by a weirdo (John "ny Rotten" Lydon) who claims that he's the serial killer targeting cops that everyone has been searching for. So Keitel does the logical thing and beats the shit out of him, ties him up and keeps him prisoner in his bathroom.

Overlong and kinda awkward, but not without its merits, Copkiller is sort of psychological thriller dressed up in crime movie clothes. There's a bunch of lip service paid to the investigation and to Keitel trying to cover up his misdeeds, but mostly the film is about the weird relationship that he and Lydon form. We've all seen a million movies about cops and criminals sharing deep bonds, being two sides of the same coin, etc., but Copkiller adds a subterranean sexual element that makes it feel, if not fresh, then certainly not a big fat cliche.

Keitel is good, as always, but you've seen him play this kind of role in other, better movies. The real surprise here is Lydon, in one of his only acting roles. He's kinda perfect in the role. He's got that sneering swagger that makes him seem dangerous (even though he's not a physical threat). But he's also a little soft and mincing (maybe it's the accent), so you can also believe he might just be some twerp who likes to confess to other peoples' crimes. Doesn't look like Lydon had another film role this large, and that might be for the best. I'm not so sure he's a gifted actor so much as his Johnny Rotten public persona fits this role particularly well.

Rating: B-

1 comment:

Shenan said...

OK a comment needs to be made about the incredibly large, incredibly sparse apartment Keitel and his partner lived in that had the exact amount of furniture (2 chairs, an ashtray, a stand for the record player) and appliances (a fridge! a record player!) fundamental to the plot, and nothing more. Now that's livin'.