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Notes From The Back Row

The awesomest cop flick ever

Cops. They’ve been getting a tough rap up here lately. I realize that not all cops are bad, but honestly, when was the last time you were really happy to see an officer of the law? The good cops (and most of them are decent people) are falling victim to the same principles our first grade teachers used to hammer into our heads: It only takes one bad apple to spoil it for the whole group.

Cop movies, on the other hand, are pretty sweet. And if all cops were sharply dressed jive-talking comedians like Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys 2 then I’d probably be writing about something else right now. Like drag queens or something. But instead we’re talking cop movies. You know, I don’t want to sound immature or anything, but my favorite cop movie was Babe, Pig in the City. Yeah, okay. That was a cheap shot, but that movie was pretty funny, and when you’re threatening to taser a kid for trying to get home on the only vehicle his minimum wage job can afford, well there’s no such thing as a low blow is there?

Oh well, I guess we should be counting our blessings that our protectors of the peace aren’t as bad as Harvey Keitel in the awesomest cop flick ever, 1992’s Bad Lieutenant. Director Abel Ferrera ( King of New York ) takes off the gloves with this one and gives us an unnamed lieutenant that’s so bad-ass you wonder how the hell he ever got the job in the first place. He gambles, he abuses substances, he bangs hookers and seems to not care much about his Catholic wife. Plus he weasels a couple convenience store robbers out of their cash and then lets them go. Basically, this movie is so serious it’s almost as if Rob Zombie directed it. (What ever happened to The Devil’s Rejects ? Wasn’t it supposed to be coming up here?) Anyhow, in the end Keitel, who puts on an acting clinic in this one, catches some nun-rapists and then, after smoking a little crack and losing a shitload of his buddies’ money, lets them go. Ferrera spins a Catholic redemption ending on what is perhaps one of the most serious, morally depraved movies of the ’90s. But that’s how it goes, only God can judge us, right?

Hopefully God judges the three well-tanned dudes from the city who bear sprayed a half-dozen innocent bystanders outside Subway a few weeks back. The police were nowhere to be seen. The boys with the striped pants are losing credibility. It’s too bad because I know most of them are decent people doing a job no one else wants. But instead of saying, "Rules are rules," when you ding us for choosing not to drink and drive, try using a little human judgment or compassion.

AT VILLAGE 8 Sept. 9-15: Exorcism of Emily Rose; Wedding Crashers; 40 Year Old Virgin; Constant Gardener; March of the Penguins; Red Eye; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Transporter 2; Brothers Grimm.