Thursday, February 2, 2012
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Rampart Division is known for being a shit storm of epic corruption. The Rampart Division was at the center of an in-depth internal investigation of corrupt officers in the 90s that resulted in most widespread cases of documented police misconduct in United States history. Other films have touched on the corrupt nature of the LAPD, but failed for one reason or another in capturing the true impact that Rampart had. "Rampart" was written/directed by Oren Movermand with James Ellroy to bring a realistic crime drama about to the forefront.
"Rampart" succeeds where "Cellular" and "Faster" failed; by giving attention to the issue of a corrupt officer instead of using it as a background for a superficial action film. For fans of "The Shield" this is a must see film.
Set in 1999 Los Angeles, the story centers on veteran police officer, Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson), or Date-rape Dave as he’s known in the Rampart division of the LAPD for his as-yet-unproven killing of a serial date-rapist, is a womanizing, chauvinistic, chemically dependent, misanthrope. He declares that he is not a racist, because he hates all people equally. When things go bad he uses his influence as an LAPD officer to score prescription drugs. He is a father of two daughters, Helen (Brie Larson) and Margaret (Sammy Boyarsky), each born from separate mothers, Barbara (Cynthia Nixon) and Catherine (Anne Heche), who happen to be sisters. In what almost comes across as a cult-like feeling, they all are living in the same house together.
As an officer with the LAPD, he lies and cheats to get the necessary scum off the streets. He is involved with an unprovoked shooting, unprovoked beating, planting of evidence, framing of suspects, and stealing. He relies on a retired officer (Ned Beatty) to get information and influence the political aspects of the LAPD (Sigourney Weaver and Steve Buscemi). An Internal Affairs investigator (Ice Cube) starts digging into recent reports as the story unfolds.
This is the second time that director Oren Moverman has worked with Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster with the previous being "The Messenger" (2009), which received an acting nomination for Woody Harrelson and a writing nomination for Oren Moverman. Oren Moverman deserves a screenplay nomination for his skill in weaving in-between the personal life of Officer Brown and still showing the corrupt nature of being an officer. Woody Harrelson was brilliant in the complex role and deserving of a nomination as well. I am not sure if this film counts towards the 2011 or the 2012 award season, but it is certainly a 5 Quack film.