To synopsize, Travis (James Freedson-Jackson ) and Harrison (Hays Wellford)—two mischievous friends wandering the open farm lands of their small town— come across an abandoned police cruiser in a tree-covered clearing. Finding the keys, the two boys decide to take the car for a drive while having fun with all the equipment and firearms left behind. The vehicle’s owner, Sheriff Kretzer (Kevin bacon), returns to the area where he parked his cruiser and finds it missing. As we soon find out, the sheriff isn’t all that respectable and needs to find his vehicle before his true nature is exposed.
The cast is relatively small as it mainly stars the two children and Bacon, but the plot is an interesting concept. Although I feel that most children wouldn’t do such a thing as to freely take a vehicle—especially a police car—that has been left with the doors unlocked and keys sitting inside, it does seem plausible as the two boys exhibited tendencies to be more on the delinquent side. For instance, they appeared to be miles from their homes without any adult supervision, even discussing their travel to be over a day’s walk. Still, I felt that we really don’t get much of a backstory on these two besides the quick exposition from them when another character asks about their guardians.
Kevin Bacon plays the backwoods hick sheriff perfectly, complete with mustache and southern drawl. Even though we really don’t get to see how everything led up to the clearing, we see enough to know he’s a dirty cop and has a secondary life of corruption.
The first thing I’d noticed when the film started was how it appeared to be a movie set in the late 70s or early 80s. The clothing the boys wore and the soundtrack gave me that impression and I thought that was interesting until we see Bacon using a modern cell phone throughout the flick. But that won’t take you out of the film or make it any less enjoyable. However, as I had mentioned the music, I really didn’t care for the soundtrack themes and thought it had a bit too much of synthesizer, which is why I felt it was supposed to be set in the 80s.
Over all, it’s a forgetful film, which is a shame because the story had the potential to be something better. I think that maybe if they had made the kids in their teens and gave them more interaction between themselves and Bacon’s sheriff character, perhaps it would’ve given the plot a bit more tension. Throughout most of the first half, the kids were actually oblivious to their position, having fun joy riding and trying to use items they’d found in the car. My thinking is that if they knew what they had gotten themselves into and had a bit of back-and-forth with Bacon through the CB, we’d have more of a pressure-filled thriller.
As a whole, Cop Car will keep you interested just to see what comes of the kids not to mention Kevin Bacon’s dilemma as the corrupt sheriff that can’t afford to have these kids turn up with his cruiser, leading all to know what he was doing in that clearing in the first place. So you come away feeling that it was ninety minutes of your life that you won’t get back, but more like an interesting flick that just missed the mark.
So, my final "bit" on Cop Car?
Thanks for reading and I’ll try to get back here in a timely manner to give my thoughts on another flick.