Linda Cook review: ‘Copshop’ is an arresting actioner

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Who the heck is Alexis Louder?

She’s the star of the actioner “Copshop,” and I hope this is the movie that catapults her to the A List status she deserves. You might recognize her from her recent role in “Harriet.”

In this enjoyable popcorn flick, Louder plays Officer Valerie Young, on the job in Nevada when a criminal named Teddy Muretto (Frank Grillo, “Black and Blue”) decides the safest place for him is in jail, considering just how many people want him dead.

 So he socks Valerie in the jaw.

Teddy, once behind bars, has a chance to take a look at what weapons are on hand in the precinct. Another apparent lowlife is brought in as a drunk, and he, too, gets thrown behind bars, conveniently across from Teddy.

The second guy is really hit man Bob Viddick (Gerard Butler), and he’s not only sober, but he also has a plan for Teddy.

I love the way the two tough guys snarl at each other through the bars. We know something awful is going to happen, and we can guess that one of the cops on duty might be involved.

When it turns into a shoot-‘em-up, pandemonium ensues, especially when a pycho killer (Toby Huss, “The Rental”) enters the pictures singing the words to the Curtis Mayfield classic “Freddie’s Dead.” I won’t tell you how this character enters the at-the-time quiet precinct, but wow, is it ever eye-catching.

This reminded me quite a bit of another actioner. There’s a dash of “Assault on Precinct 13” – both the 1976 version and the updated 2005 film – in this. If you’re a fan of the earlier films you’ll probably enjoy “Copshop.”

The characters here are smart and well-rounded. Their dialogue flies as fast as the bullets do, and I like the grudging respect some of them show toward each other, especially the chemistry between Valerie and Bob.  

This is what grown-up action movies are supposed to be. If I read the last scene correctly, it appears this isn’t the end of these characters.

I hope I see them again.

3 stars

Rated: R for foul language and graphic violence.

Running time: One hour and 48 minutes.

At Cinemark, Davenport; Palms 10, Mucatine; and Blue Grass Drive-In.

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