It’s 1999 and Dave Brown, a trigger-happy, racist, sexist veteran police officer in down-town Los Angeles is trying to take care of his family, whilst trying to survive at the same time. However, after he is caught on camera in what the public deems as “police brutality”, his life is put under the microscope and his family – his two ex-wives who happens to be sisters, each with a daughter, that still lives with him – may have to suffer the consequences of one of the last renegade cops… If that’s not enough to get the public on the “victim’s” side, Brown is also suspected to have murdered a serial rapist, but that could swing either way of course…
Rampart is a film about deceit, vengeance and hate, but at the same time it’s a movie that tries to bring to light the difference between right and wrong. Forget everything you’ve learned about tolerance, because Dave Brown doesn’t give a hell about that. It’s his rules or nothing and if you don’t like it… well I don’t think people would even think about crossing Woody Harrelson (Natural Born Killers, Zombieland) anyway. Rampart takes all of those things that society has worked so hard for – tolerance to be more exact – and throws it out of the window. Here we have a womanising, racist cop with some anger management issues and yet, he’s actually likeable in some ways, which needless to say will confuse the viewer. Isn’t this type of person supposed to be hated? Dave offers no apologies: “I am not a racist. Fact is, I hate all people equally.” This is what makes Rampart so brilliant, if you think about it.
Director Oren Moverman, who is essentially not known for directing and more for the upcoming Hammer Horror film, The Quiet Ones, was able to capture Woody Harrelson’s character at his best and absolute worst. However, with the whole 90′s feel to the film and the continuous drama that unfolds to the viewer, I think he faired pretty well as a director. Though, I’m not a complete fan of the whole look of the cinematography, I do have to give credit to how Moverman was able to capture the feelings of his characters. Sigourney Weaver (Assistant district attorney Joan Confrey) did an excellent job at playing a bitch with a purpose and frankly, I think Harrelson should team up with her a little more often.
From a personal perspective, I completely understand what Rampart was trying to do and it succeeded in creating a sympathetic and likeable, but corrupt cop as it’s protagonist. Granted, this is not Natural Born Killers (so if that’s what you were thinking of getting, sorry…), but it does have a certain appeal to it. Rampart isn’t a movie that everyone will like either. If you’re not into action movies or corrupt cops, then this won’t be the film for you. However, if you’re in the mood for something that can capture more than just a screenplay, but can actually capture a tale… well get your hands on Rampart by clicking on the image. You won’t be sorry.