Rampart: Woody Harrelson in Top Form

Opens February 3, 2012

Fluidly directed by Oren Moverman, “Rampart” adds an honorable (if familiar) panel to subgenre of crime-policiers that could be called “Dirty Cops.”  Thematically, but not stylistically, “Rampart” is located on a continuum somewhere between Clint Eastwood’s 1971 iconic “Dirty Harry” and Abel Ferrara’s 1992 excessive and sensationalist “Bad Lieutenant.”

When a director makes a striking debut—such as  Moverman with “The Messenger” in 2009—you hope that his second feature will fulfill expectations.  “Rampart” certainly reaffirms Moverman as a gifted filmmaker to watch, even if overall it’s not as strong or as rich a picture as “The Messenger”; the tale is overly familiar and drags in the last reel.

This is the second successful teaming of Moverman and Woody Harrelson, a talented actor who has not had such challenging roles in a decade.  In “Rampart,” Harrelson’s presence—and acting—is even more crucial to the film’s overall impact than it was in “The Messenger,” for a number of reasons.  First, as the lead character, Harrelson is in almost every scene (“The Messenger” was more of a two-handler, with Harrelson co-starring with Ben Foster, who plays a small part in the new picture). 

Second, Harrelson is constantly on the move, literally and figuratively—a strategy that’s particularly conducive to the medium of film.  In the course of the tale, he interacts in brief but meaningful scenes with at least a dozen characters, in which he reveals another facet of his psyche, as a damaged Vietnam vet, an officer who’s both a product and victim of the above malaise as well as of his own personality.

Holding the entire picture on his robust shoulders, Harrelson deserves a serious consideration for Best Actor Oscar nomination. Harrelson received an Oscar nod in 1996, for Milos Forman’s controversial biopic, “The People Vs. Larry Flynt,” and a well-deserved Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for “The Messenger.”  Hopefully, the fact that “Rampart is released by a small if entrepreneurial distributor (Millennium) for only one week in N.Y. and L.A., would not hamper his prospects with Academy voters.  Right now, “Rampart” is scheduled for a late January theatrical opening.

The text, co-written by the gifted crime-fiction author James Ellroy (“L.A. Confidential,” made into a superlative film by Curtis Hanson in 1997) and Moverman, is set in Los Angeles in 1999.  We are first introduced to Harrelson’s Officer Dave Brown, a Rampart Precinct cop, as he is driving in his car, wearing dark glasses and smoking.  He projects the image of a cool, confident pro, sort of a contempo Steve McQueen (without the glamour of McQueen).

Brown might easily have been labeled “Dirty Dave” (a la “Dirty Harry”), as he himself is aware of his “strange” code of ethics.  At this point of his 22 year-old career, he has accepted as a sacred calling his job of doing “the people’s dirty work.”

For Dave, there is no clear line of demarcation between “right” and “wrong.” He is his own man, defined by his own (both eccentric and peculiar) code of ethics and actual behavior.  An inner-directed man (to borrow the sociological distinction of David Riseman between inner-directed and other-directed individuals), Dave is action-oriented and a man of few words.  Language has almost no significance in his world, because he is unable to articulate and express his feeling even for people he likes and cares for.

All “goes well” so long as there is no evidence or witnesses to Dave’s nasty brutality and ruthless conduct (when in doubt, he shoots first, then asks questions).  However, when Dave gets caught on tape beating a suspect, a thorough investigation begins, which later escalates in different directions and unpredictable ways.

From this point on, the fluid, well-constructed narrative takes the shape of a chronicle of a man in deep crisis, a macho who begins a long, painful downward spiral, personally, professionally, and emotionally.

It doesn’t help that elements of Dave’s past sins, such as grounded accusations of his killing a serial rapist, are brought to the surface–again.  The broader context—a department-wide corruption scandal– makes his case even more sensitive, complicated, and in the public eye.

Set on his own ways, while both refusing and unable to change his modus operandi, Dave internalizes his phobias and anxieties to the point of unbearable anguish and relentless paranoia.

Ellroy and Moverman are successful in integrating Dave’s messy personal and family life with his equally messy professional work.  In quick brushes, we meet his two ex-wives, who “happen” to be sisters, and two daughters, one of whom is particularly vulnerable.

In a key emotional scene, she accuses her father of being a “macho, sexist, racist, bigot, and homophobic,” hard charges that have foundations in reality and leave Dave speechless and defenseless, when his kids desert him.

Also adding to the complex and complicated portraiture is an aging mentor, who “happens” to dispense unhelpful, and occasionally downright bad advice.

As a result, Dave’s various crises begin to escalate, dragging him down to a point of no return.  Problem is—and these is the main weakness of the film, dramatically—is that Dave does not change much (he just continues to escalate and go down), More importantly, the filmmakers could not figure out (or did not want to provide) a more satisfying way to end Dave’s misery—and their saga.

On the one hand, Ellory and Moverman should be commended for not choosing easier thematic solutions, such as the one taken by Eastwood’s right-winger cop “Dirty Harry,” who quits the police force and then goes on a vengeance spree by taking the law into his own hand.

On the other, “Rampart” doesn’t have the effective and logical closure that Ferrara chose for “Bad Lieutenant,” in which the immoral and amoral Harvey Keitel is senselessly shot in his car, while parking in front of a Times Square movie-theater.

Spoiler Alert

The closing scene—and last image—shows up Dave in close up. Is he in a state of moral limbo, completely gone?  A broken man who has lost everything, a misanthrope stripped of his arrogant machismo and chauvinism. There’s no moral redemption for Dave or emotional catharsis for us viewers.  This kind of ambiguity may have been intended in earnest by Ellroy and Moverman, but it left me frustrated.

A longer review, discussing the film’s dynamic visual style and superlative acting by the entire ensemble, which includes terrific turns by Robin Wright, Sigourney Weaver, Ice Cube, Ben Foster, Ned Beatty, Steve Buscemi, Cynthia Nixon and Anne Heche, will be published later.

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbsport.fitonbet88.oooi9bet.bizhi88.ooookvip.atf8bet.atfb88.cashvn88.cashshbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88