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This crass, macho movie is an LA police drama with an unreconstructed 1970s mentality. Its heroes are tough-guy white cops with chevron moustaches who’ll smoke on duty if they damn well please, and to hell with the regulations. The only significant female character is a drug addict who allows a pimp to sell her daughter to a drug gang. African American men mostly appear cuffed and face down on the bonnet of a patrol car. And its sympathy for white lawmen who play fast and loose with the rules – especially at a time when so many unarmed black men are dying at the hands of white officers – feels shamefully irresponsible.
The drama takes place over one night in the squad car of fresh-faced beat cop Nick Holland (Luke Kleintank) and his grizzled partner Ray (Thomas Jane). Ray’s primary lesson to the rookie appears to be versing him in cliched cop talk (“There’s the world inside your cop car, and everything else”). The pair make a handful of run-of-the-mill arrests while Ray attends to a personal matter: investigating the disappearance of his dead partner’s eight-year-old daughter. Inevitably, justice and the protection of women and children will require him to skirt the rules.
To hammer home the point that Ray is a good guy, writer-director Joel Souza gives us a dirty cop, Jack VanZandt (Josh Hopkins), a speed-freak knucklehead who rampages around the city beating the living hell out of anyone who looks at him funny. This is mediocre, mostly forgettable drama, but it leaves a nasty taste. You can imagine it screened at the Republican party convention as the warm-up to a law and order debate.
• Bulletproof is on digital platforms from 7 September.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Bulletproof review – violent cops flout the rules. Is this meant to be fun? | Film