Thursday, November 10, 2011

AFI FEST 2011: "Rampart"

RAMPART (2011) **1/2 105mins. D: Oren Moverman. Woody Harrelson, Robin Wright, Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon, Sigourney Weaver, Ned Beatty.

During the Rampart scandal of the 1990s, a controversial, veteran cop who's doing his best to keep his dysfunctional family together finds himself embroiled in another incident that causes everything to come crumbling down around him.

Being based on a story by James Ellroy I would have to say the film was disappointing. In many ways it felt like a condensed, multi-part episode of FX's "The Shield."

Harrelson and Beatty are about the only two characters that have any weight to warrant the audience's interest. Harrelson is very good as a cop who knows he's crossed the line and is barely keeping his head above water. Beatty is effective as a retired cop who serves as his mentor but alas a mentor who may be just as corrupt.

The film has many solid performances but unfortunately the story itself is all too familiar and at times generic. There was one element introduced that I found rather interesting but ultimately it was either forgotten or was never fleshed out. Had it stuck with that development perhaps it may have been better.

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