Cop Car is a small film directed by Jon Watts who I have never heard of before, but he is apparently directing the new Spider-man movie. The story is about two lively troublesome 10 year old kids who run away pretty far from home. On their little adventure in the middle of nowhere, they come across an abandoned cop car. After discovering that the keys are in the car, their first instinct is to drive this thing; I remember what is was like to have that urge to drive a car at that age and it is believable the way these kids interact and treat this entire situation. But they couldn’t have picked a worse car to go on a joyride and they never stop to think for a second since they’re loving their newfound freedom. The owner of the car is a small town sheriff, Kretzer, played by the great Kevin Bacon. The first 20 minutes of this film is just these kids wandering around curiously with and without the cop car. From the first time they spot the cop car, you fear for these kids’ lives and it’s never a good sign whenever there are fields and abandoned vehicles. Within the first 25-30 minutes, the movie evolves from something comedic, adventurous and coming-of-age to something sinister and incredibly dark approaching No Country For Old Men territory and maintains that tone for the rest of the film.
Kevin Bacon absolutely kills this role and that floating sheriff mustache; I haven’t seen him in a movie in quite a long time besides the recent Johnny Depp movie, Black Mass, which he had a small role in. But what a fantastic actor he is; he carries this movie and brings a certain eccentricity to this role that glues you to the screen. When he is not coked-up, he is either running or stealing a car himself; whatever the past behind this sheriff is, you can’t help but feel for the guy as he is having the worst day of his life. I would definitely want to see a standalone movie with Kevin Bacon’s character. The real suspense comes from watching these kids knowingly and unknowingly putting themselves in dangerous situations; there is a scene in which they are playing with weapons from the car that will have you covering your eyes in agony. One of the kids at the start of the movie was the one who was leading the way and influencing his friend by making stupid decisions, but by the end of the film the dynamics of their friendship shifts and the submissive kid is the sharper one making the big decisions. There are only a hand full of characters and the plot of the film is essentially a cat and mouse chase between the cop and the kids; Shea Wingham from Boardwalk Empire also has a small role in the film and his unnamed character was hilariously inefficient. But without giving anything away, there are a few twists and the movie goes into directions you wouldn’t expect and it is an exhilarating ride. This gem of a movie was a blast to watch and it gave me that old school late night movie feel and made me think of a slightly bigger film from 1997, Kurt Russell’s Breakdown. It is perfectly paced at only 87 minutes long and that is all the time it needs to tell this ridiculously entertaining story. Apart from the abrupt non-ending kind of ending, I had no complaints and I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this movie, especially having zero expectations and knowing nothing about the plot. (9 Bacon/10)