by Joanna Orland
Don’t let the cool movie poster of Woody Harrelson fool you. This is not a slick cop action film starring the loveable erratic Woody Harrelson, but it’s rather a gritty character study of Dave Brown, a crooked cop played most excellently by Woody, but drawn out at a snail’s pace.
A solid supporting cast fills out the screen all gathering around Woody’s Dave, heightening the drama, increasing the stakes and putting on the pressure. There is a lot of good stuff with this film such as the depths it reaches when examining its central character. This is likely why all of the big publications such as Timeout and The Guardian are giving it 4 or 5 stars! But for me, I found it trying to get through. Woody is fascinating, but it’s hard to care what actually happens to such a despicable character that you’re supposed to feel empathy for but can’t out of sheer despite. The snail’s pace didn’t help to ease the pain of watching Dave Brown’s demise and just made me check my watch every few minutes hoping it would just end! And then it did. The ending seemed a bit abrupt and unexpected without a solid hook. But I suppose that is fine for a film that lacks a solid narrative.
If you are into films for the sake of a character study, then by all means Rampart will deliver. If you’re expecting narrative, action or entertainment, perhaps you’re best off seeking out a different picture.