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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jan 22, 2022



GERALD BUTLER has achieved action star status in such films as “300” and the “Has Fallen” series, so we’re surprised when we saw “Copshop”, a police action-thriller, as he plays a villain role. 

Directed and co-written by Joe Carnahan (“The Grey”), the film is set mainly in a small-town police station that turns into a battleground. 

It starts with a man, Teddy Murretto (Frank Grillo), on the run in Las Vegas. 

To avoid the men who want to kill him, he attacks a black policewoman near a casino, Valerie Young (Alexis Louder, “The Tomorrow War”), who’s trying to break up a brawl. He does this deliberately, so that she will arrest him and also protect him from his pursuers. 

It turns out Murretto used to work with a Nevada casino crime boss and he tried to bribe the state’s attorney general who refused to cooperate and gets killed. T

o save himself, Murretto agrees to be a witness for the FBI, prompting the crime boss to assign hired killers to silence him for good.

He is taken to jail in the police station, but a hitman who’s after him, Bob Viddick (Butler), also manages to get himself arrested by pretending to be drunk and crashing into a police car. 

Viddick is a notorious assassin and actually just wants to get into the prison so he can get a chance to kill Murretto, but they are put in separate holding cells. 

Unknown to the cops in the precinct, Viddick has hidden a small bomb at the station’s entrance. 

When it explodes and gets the cops into a state of alarm and confusion, he takes advantage of the situation, stealing the gun of a cop and is about to kill Muretto, but Young comes in, stops him in time and dumps him in his cell which is right in front of Murretto’s. 

Another hitman, Anthony Lamb (Tobby Huss), is sent to kill Murretto. Viddick calls him a psychopath and he is certainly more ruthless and brutal. He quickly gets to shoot to death all the other unsuspecting police officers in the station. 

Young sees him and is able to put down the bulletproof glass that protects the cells of Murretto and Viddick, but still, a bullet from Lamb gets to hit her in the stomach. 

A rogue cop, who steals drugs from the station’s evidence room, helps Lamb in trying to get inside the cells to kill Murretto. 

The situation gets more and more tense and more and more complicated when both Murretto and Viddick get the chance to free themselves. 

Will the young policewoman still survive and save the day, with her now facing two brutal men who won’t hesitate to kill her? 

The story is really familiar as it has been used before in the action film, “Assault in Precinct 13” in 1976, which was a hit and was even remade in 2005. It is about a police station in New York City being attacked by criminals. 

Butler maybe the one who gets top billing as he’s the biggest name in the cast, but it is his co-stars who truly shine. 

Grillo is credible as the addled would be witness who fears for his wife and kid who he doesn’t know have already been killed by the mob. 

Also standing out is Huss as the psychotic hired killer who is just out to kill everyone. 

But it’s Alexis Louder gives the best performance in “Copshop” as a tough-as-nails young female cop who just refuses to give up in doing what she believes is right. 

She’s the only good character in the entire damn movie. And she singlehandedly takes on all the bad guys, so you will no doubt root for her. 

The interplay among her, Murretto and Viddick is laced with dark humor and suspense, but there’s no doubt that she is the heart of the film as the black girl who bravely goes against the bad white guys.

“Copshop” is the second action flick we just saw where the lead character is a black female cop. The other one is “Black and Blue” with Naomie Harris. 

“Copshop” actually has B movie trappings. but we still enjoyed it as quite a joyride of a blood-spattered police thriller.