Saturday, January 11, 2014

Wrong Cops

I'm kind of disappointed that Wrong Cops is getting such a tiny Boston release - not just because I think it's pretty funny and those of you who weren't among the dozen or so to see it last night should hit tonight's midnight screening at the Coolidge - but also because it seems like as Quentin Dupieux's films get less strange, they seem to be getting smaller releases here. Rubber had a regular booking at the Kendall, but Wrong found itself getting midnights at the Coolidge and a few dates at the Brattle, and now Wrong Cops looks to be two late nights and done. Sure, it's also available On Demand and via Amazon Instant Video, but once upon a time, being more mainstream got you into more theaters!

One thing I didn't get into in the review is that, while I think calling it a spin-off might be giving Wrong Cops too much connection to Wrong, it does have the same sort of "mostly-twenty-year-old-stuff" aesthetic that Depieux's last movie did. Rubber was kind of similar, and I kind of wonder why he goes for that. I suspect that it's actually something a lot of directors would do if they could get away with it; modern design is often so sleek and minimalist that the function is not always either immediately obvious or expressed by movement, which is why revolvers and flip-phones look good here. Still, modern cars pop up, and it's kind of amusing that, since much of the music in the movie is electronic, the tool used to create that sort of thing (a MacBook) pops up sitting right next to a TI 99/4A computer.

Anyway, the movie's funny. Go see it tonight if you can.

Wrong Cops

* * * (out of four)
Seen 10 January 2014 in Coolidge Corner Theatre #2 (@fter Midnite: Fresh Cuts, digital)

Rubber was surreal. Wrong was bizarre. Spinoff Wrong Cops is peculiar. At this rate, Quentin Dupieux is only a few films away from doing something eccentric but basically sensible. Fortunately, he's not there yet, and the plentiful gags he stuffs into this movie's lean eighty minutes are both quite odd and very funny.

If you saw Wrong, you almost certainly remember the cop played by Mark Burnham, who absolutely stole the two scenes he was in. Here, his Officer Duke sells weed with unusual packaging, harasses a student (Marilyn Manson) over his music choices, and has to dispose of the body of his neighbor (Daniel Quinn) who is not quite dead yet. He tries to foist that job off on desk cop Sunshine (Steve Little), who is able to get out of it by a stroke of luck, and also visits his friend Rough (Eric Judor), a one-eyed cop whose passion is music. Also on the job are Officers De Luca (Eric Wareheim) and Holmes (Arden Myrin), who don't abuse their power as much as they could because they are rather lazy.

Giving a character/actor who excelled in short bursts his own movie is a risky thing, and Dupieux doesn't quite do that - Burnham isn't necessarily playing the same character and many actors from Wrong show up in different roles here (though fans of that movie will smile when they see a man walking his dog). The thing that hasn't changed is that many of these cops are certainly not underdogs the audience is going to pull for (well, maybe Rough is, and Sunshine sort of gets put in that position), but a group of folks' whose amorality combined with incompetence causes some decidedly odd stuff to happen. However, if there's no-one to root for, there's also nobody you can't laugh at.

Full review at EFC.

No comments: