Rampart review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
Woody Harrelson stars as an LA cop who finds himself caught on camera assaulting an arrestee in a departmental attempt to draw attention away from a corrupt judicial system.
As with any corrupt-cop movie our anti-hero “Date-Rape” Dave Brown (Harrelson) is the man we love to hate and hating him is not a difficult task. He is a thoroughly unpleasant bully with absolutely no redeemable qualities, foul to his co-workers, despicably sexist toward his female colleagues and disgusting towards the two women he lives with, you can’t help but spend most of the movie hoping someone will shoot him in the face.
Beyond Harrelson’s gross and corrosive character Rampart is a portrayal of the LAPD in 1999; a time in which is discovered that a large part of the “Rampart” department were up to their necks in drug conspiracy and criminal behaviour. Although this is depicted as a public outrage, it somehow takes a backseat in the movie to Harrelsons character; who is so emotionally damaged and dangerous that all other aspects of the narrative seep into the darkness that surrounds him and become lost behind his atrocious behaviour.
Despite all of Brown’s horrors however Rampart is far from the quality of like minded movies such as LA Confidential, it is in fact an incredibly banal and predictable drama, fuelled only by Brown’s violent and abhorrent behaviour. The cameos from Steve Buscemi and Sigourney Weaver do nothing to save this movie from itself, and upon closing it remains an unnecessarily violent and occasionally chaotic run of the mill cop drama.