THEATRICAL REVIEW: Old-school actioner Copshop brings it home

In a time where original ideas are scarce, there’s something incredibly comforting about cliches done right.

Copshop reminds me of 1,000 different movies, chief among them is Assault On Precinct 13, which got a remake of its own in 2005. But on the tropes it treads, it executes well.

This flick about an assassin and a government witness who each get locked up in a small-town police station is a wily good time. The latter gets arrested on purpose to find protection, and the former gets handcuffed to gain access to the snitch.

Their cat-and-mouse game puts an entire precinct in their crosshairs, and the lines between good and evil become blurred.

Co-writer and director Joe Carnahan makes this bombastic, stylish thriller, which resembles his own hit Smokin’ Aces. But the director is so darn flashy that I can’t help but be drawn to his work, even if it is repetitive.

In the decade since his rom-com days, Gerard Butler has carved out a niche as an absolute badass, rivalled by only Liam Neeson. Here, as a grizzled, macho assassin, he’s absolutely awesome.

Tough guy Frank Grillo, Alexis Louder, and the scene-stealing Toby Huss are all also along for this insane ride.

There aren’t any real surprises here, but there don’t have to be. This is a manic little delight that hits all the right notes, even if we’ve heard them before.

4/5 Stars

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