As a kid, curiosity probably should have gotten me killed a slew of times. Running away wasn’t really my thing, but playing with the boys in the woods, rough housing and climbing things I probably shouldn’t have went hand in hand with ballet lessons and dressing up as Princess Leia. In the new film COP CAR, two young boys come upon what appears to be an abandoned sheriff’s vehicle in the middle of nowhere. Coming to the naive conclusion that no one is coming back for the car, they take it upon themselves to claim the vehicle as their own and go on one hell of a joyride. Unbeknownst to them, it’s shady owner has secrets hiding within the vehicle. An innocent coming of age tale spins wildly out of control as the boys decide between right and wrong and the threats of grownups with their own agenda.Kevin Bacon gives an outstanding performance as the infamous Sheriff Kretzer. This man is a master as manipulation. Watching his character get in and out of dangerous scenarios is fascinating and frightening. Bacon never disappoints me with his uncanny ability to be both charming and smarmy all in one. (He was totally booked for sit down interviews this time. I was disappointed as I dream of being able to say that “I am 0 degrees from Kevin Bacon.” Next time, sir. Next time.) The young boys that we want so desperately to get away are played heroically by James Freedson-Jackson and Hays Wellford. Both performances should be lauded as total success stories. These two young boys have careers ahead of them, for sure. Freedson-Jackson plays the more dominant of the pair with gusto and complete ownership. Wellford, as the meeker young man, is heartfelt and thoughtful. It makes me wonder the amount of time these kids spent together prior to and during filming. Their chemistry is organic and beyond solid. Camryn Manheim plays a concerned local woman, putting the boys on blast to the authorities. I love Manheim in everything from Ghost Whisperer to her innumerable guest appearances on what feels like every television series since the mid-90’s. Shea Whigman, one of my favorite actors from Boardwalk Empire, makes a phenomenal appearance in this film. Setting the bar high is the name of his game and he blows us away.The film’s pace starts out free and easy, throwing you into a false sense of stability. Ramping up and never stopping until the final frame, Cop Car really took me by surprise. It was a purely intriguing script and I was never bored. Fare warning: it is quite violent but totally worth it. Great performances, fantastic story, completely unexpected, I really dug this film. It is crystal clear why director Jon Watts was brought on to helm the UNTITLED SPIDER-MAN REBOOT for 2017. This gives me so much hope for the franchise. Beyond looking forward to more from this talented man.COP CAR opens in theaters today, August 7th.
Kevin Bacon (THE FOLLOWING, HBO’s TAKING CHANCE, MYSTIC RIVER) stars in director Jon Watts’ delightful throwback thriller COP CAR. When two good-natured but rebellious young boys (Hays Wellford of INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE and James Freedson-Jackson) stumble across an abandoned cop car hidden in a secluded glade they decide to take it for a quick joyride. Their bad decision unleashes the ire of the county sheriff (Kevin Bacon) and leads to brutal consequences. COP CAR firmly establishes Jon Watts as a master of minimalist suspense and a directing force that will soon extend well beyond the independent landscape—Watts has just signed on to helm the UNTITLED SPIDER-MAN REBOOT for 2017.