Cop Land

Sylvester Stallone acts? Ha! At least that’s what I thought walking into the showing of Cop Land. Did I walk out thinking different?

Across the bridge in New Jersey there is a town named Garrison. It’s a small town, mostly populated by cops from New York. The sheriff of Garrison is Freddy Heflin (Sylvester Stallone). He has a desperate want to be in the NYPD, but can’t get in because of one deaf ear. The town of Garrison is populated mostly by cops, most of them dirty.

Writer/Director James Mangold tries to write a multileveled story, spinning up many plot threads. He includes the main plot of a super-boy cop who shoots two death two black men on the bridge. Then there are the miscellaneous personal stories that link different cops. One cop is sleeping with another’s wife. Another is doing drugs and does something horrible to his girlfriend. One bigger thread is about a dirty cop who sets up the town with the help of the mob. Moe Tilden (Robert De Niro) heads up an Internal Affair’s investigation of that dirty cop. There is also a love interest for Stallone. There are a few other threads, but they are mostly extraneous ones. Most of these threads get cut short and end up being shallow. Many of the threads are unneeded.

The film seems to become bloated after a while. Many big name stars step into the film, including Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro, and Ray Lolita. (Off subject, De Niro’s character seemed to have been stuck in the late 70s or early 80s, his hair is awful, and he’s dressed badly). I was happy to see Janeane Garofalo again. Her screen time is little and her part was completely unnecessary, but it was nice to see her again on the big screen.

Cop Land tries really hard to be a high drama film and though it comes close, it fails. Cop Land is a wait for video movie, and even then, I cannot recommend it. And for those of you wondering, yes, Stallone can act, and he does well in Cop Land. Stallone just needs to find a project with a better script next time.


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