Officer Downe (2016)
Directed by Shawn Crahan
Written by Joe Casey, Chris Burnham
Produced by Roger M. Mayer, Joe Casey, Mark Neveldine, Cole Payne, Skip Williamson, Cory Brennan, Glenn D. Feig
Starring Kim Coates, Tyler Ross, Luna Lauren Velez, Sona Eyambe, Reno Wilson, Bruno Gunn, Tracy Vilar, Meadow Williams, Sam Witwer, Shawn Crahan, Lindsay Pulsipher, Chris Fehn, Alison Lohman, Corey Taylor, Glenn Howerton, Cody Renee Cameron, Kaylee Sapieha
Attritional and funerary expenses are for the LAPD greatly obviated by countless telekinetic resurrections of a dedicated police officer (Coates) who tears a bloody swath through the operations of a narcotics chemist (Taylor), nuns (Williams, Lohman, et aliae) who traffic arms from their convent, and the disciples of a mincing, master martial artist (Eyambe), all of whom are occupied by anthropomorphic crime lords (Crahan, Pulsipher, Fehn). Meanwhile, a useless recruit (Ross) joins the frequently reanimated cop’s redundant backup detail (Wilson, Gunn, Vilar).
Every single line of Casey’s diffuse dialogue and cartoonish titles is either staggeringly stupid, clichéd to semantic satiation, or both. His worst misstep in adapting his and Burnham’s graphic novel was to pad 40 minutes of story to 90 by concentrating on Ross’s whining greenhorn, who does little more than participate in paltry, expositive, and sentimental discourse with his colleagues and chief (Velez). Most quality pulp favors action over chat, and the verbosity of this screenplay sinks it as surely as its asininity.
Direction & editing
Thousands of jump and smash cuts trimmed by Meg Ramsay can’t conceal the clunkiness of Crahan’s off-kilter, oft-tilted direction. This picture is so overshot and overcut that its impetuous impact is dulled by overelaboration, a repercussion heretofore demonstrated by the likes of Michael Bay on larger budgets. Ramsay affronts discriminating taste by cutting from one recited clause to the next: standard procedure for horrible editors.
Just as no poundage of maquillage can beautify an orangutan, neither can all the world’s garish grading bestow depth to Gerardo Madrazo’s photography.
One can’t in good faith blame most of these players for over- or underacting such hoarily one-dimensional characters, but Velez and especially Ross are onerous to watch by the second act. He’s miscast (and less testosteronic than a petite schoolgirl) in what should’ve been a peripheral role seen for no more than ten minutes. Coates absorbs abuse serviceably in the Dreddishly lumbering lead with deadpan repose. As a favor to her husband (co-producer Neveldine), perennially adorable Lohman is wooden and mildly dispiriting as one of the gunrunning nuns.
No recent movie’s glut of heavy metal is of interest unless it’s directed by Joe Begos.
How are pulpy sex and violence this humdrum?! Without the comic book’s Giraudish artwork, this is mitigated by nothing for its tedious excesses.
Instead, watch RoboCop 2, Sin City, Yakuza Apocalypse, Brawl in Cell Block 99, Hobo With a Shotgun, Zebraman, the trailer for Bio-Cop….