Rated R | Time: 1:26
The idea of casting Kevin Bacon as a corrupt, rural sheriff on the hunt for the two pre-teens who stole his police vehicle could make for some grade-A, B-movie, cops-ploitation fun.
But director/co-writer Jon Watts plays it straight down the line in “Cop Car.” While not nearly as fuel-injected as the tag line suggests (“their first drive could be their last”), this is a solid little thriller with strong performances, most notably from Bacon himself.
Travis (James Freedman-Jackson) and Harrison (Hays Wellford) are 10-year-olds running away from home in eastern Colorado. In the middle of this high-plains desolation, they come across a police car with the driver-side door unlocked and the keys still in it. What’s a boy to do? Take it, of course.
If only they knew that Sheriff Kretzer (Bacon) was off in the woods burying a body.
From there, it’s a too-long game of cat and mouse, or cop and kid, a sort of “Boys’ Own Adventure” with murder as a possible outcome. And whatever you do, kids, don’t look in the back seat or the trunk.
| Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram