Featured DVD Review: Wrong Cops
Wrong Cops is the latest film from Quentin Dupieux, the director who brought us Rubber, a film about a serial killer tire. I really liked that movie, but I will admit the target audience might be low. Is this movie just as good? Is it more accessible to moviegoers?
First a note. Wrong Cops began as a short film, Wrong Cops: Chapter 1, which came out in 2012. This film is less of a remake of that film than a continuation of that story. It also has very little in way of plot and instead tells a number of mostly unconnected stories. Instead it focuses on a handful of cops, starting with Officer Duke, whom we meet selling a teenager a dead rat, a dead rat with pot stuffed into it. Why? He claims it is less conspicuous to carry, but that's clearly not the case. When we next see him, he's taking a leak outside and is spotted by a kid, David Dolores Frank.
We also see Officer De Luca accost a woman doing exercises in the park before humping her in her car and demanding her phone number. This lasts until his partner, Officer Holmes, arrives and takes him away. They've been called in to check out an apparent suicide, but don't seem interested in investigating and Holmes just telle the guy to clean it up before the blood dries. De Luca, on the other hand, uses his bathroom and steals one of his porn mags, a gay porn mag, and makes an unsettling discovery.
The other cop that is at the center of a story is Officer Sunshine, a desk clerk and one of Officer Duke's costumers. He owes Duke $520 for pot, but can't pay because he's having money troubles. Duke offers to wash away his debt, if he does him a small favor. It seems he accidentally shot his neighbor and was going to dump his body in the river, only his neighbor wasn't dead yet. So if Sunshine kills the guy and disposes of the body, he's debt will be forgiven. We actually find out he has money troubles, because he's being blackmailed by Officer Holmes. That unsettling discovery they made was Officer Sunshine's gay porn past.
The final cop is Officer Rough, who has one eye and who wants a career in electronica. His music doesn't have the hook that it needs to draw in crowds, not until he teams up with Officer Duke's dying neighbor. And if that doesn't explain how strange this movie is, nothing will.
Quentin Dupieux is a strange director and if you don't like his style, then this film likely won't convince you otherwise. Because the story is so segmented, and doesn't play out in chronological order, it doesn't flow like it should and this hurts the film. Also hurting the film is the lack of any real ending. There are certainly some parts of the film that are quite funny and much of the time the humor comes from a very absurd place. I wasn't engaged by this film like I was with Rubber, in part because it is set in a much more real world. This also hurts many of the jokes, for instance, when Officer De Luca uses his power to sexually accost women, it isn't as funny as when in Rubber most of the "audience" is poisoned and killed. There were a few times when I was hoping the film would go more over-the-top, including with the exchange between Officer Sunshine and his blackmailer, but they played it safe instead of shooting a little kid in the head. Also, more of the jokes fell flat this time around and too often there was a low-key, low-energy delivery. Arden Myrin was one of the few actors that had a lot of energy in her performance and that did help.
The main extra on the DVD is an audio commentary track with the director, Quentin Dupieux, and several of the actors, Mark Burnham, Arden Myrin, and Eric Wareheim. There is also the 14-minute short film, Wrong Cops: Chapter 1, which is essentially Officer Duke's portion of the story from the movie, but without all of the interactions with the rest of the characters.
- Submitted by: C.S.Strowbridge
Date posted: 2014-04-14