Rampart

Rampart

Director: Oren Moverman

Cast: Oren Moverman, Woody Harrelson, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright

     
 

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Director Oren Moverman reteams with Woody Harrelson for Rampart, a brutally honest portrait of a corrupt Los Angeles police officer. Dave Brown (Harrelson) is already the focus of much internal investigation when he's caught on tape beating a black man, sending his already unstable career into a further tailspin. Dave lives with his wife and his ex-wife, who

Overview

Director Oren Moverman reteams with Woody Harrelson for Rampart, a brutally honest portrait of a corrupt Los Angeles police officer. Dave Brown (Harrelson) is already the focus of much internal investigation when he's caught on tape beating a black man, sending his already unstable career into a further tailspin. Dave lives with his wife and his ex-wife, who happen to be sisters, but that doesn't stop him from picking up women in bars and going to bed with a lawyer who may or may not be investigating him. As his life spirals out of control, Dave makes one last desperate grab for cash. Co-written by Moverman and crime novelist James Ellroy, Rampart played at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
With his debut feature The Messenger, writer/director Oren Moverman fashioned a moving work that was equal parts Hal Ashby and Bob Rafelson. He reteams with Woody Harrelson for his follow-up Rampart, but it's a new collaborator, crime writer James Ellroy, who turns out to have the biggest influence on the finished film. Harrelson stars as David Brown, an L.A. cop as compromised and corrupt as you can imagine. In addition to facing another round of internal-affairs investigations stemming from his activities, he gets caught on video assaulting a black citizen. As his legal bills mount, he resorts to another ill-gotten scheme in order to swindle some bad guys out of cash, but ends up in deeper trouble. With nobody he can trust, David continues down a self-destructive path that includes sleeping with a lawyer investigating him. There really isn't all that much plot in Rampart, and what there is matters far less than David's actions and behavior. Harrelson inhabits the role, turning David into one of the scariest law-enforcement officials in modern cinema. He never has any moments of self-doubt or even basic conscience -- he's a creature who exists solely in order to keep existing. That this movie works as well as it does is a testament to Harrelson's talent. He's a magnetic actor, always capable of keeping us on edge -- we never know exactly what he might do -- and this ability is on constant display in Rampart. Regardless of the situations David gets himself mired in, his cagey verbal skills (he was almost a lawyer) and his seeming eagerness to physically intimidate whoever is confronting him work together to buy him just a little more time, which he promptly uses to self-destruct a little more. It's a fearless performance, bereft of vanity or any attempt to ingratiate himself to the audience. What's missing from the movie is a dramatic arc. David is a conflicted, mostly bad guy at the start of the film, and while we get a glimpse of how far he's willing to slide -- how difficult it will be for him to ever redeem himself -- there isn't a moment where he changes or even recognizes what he's doing to himself. The situation may get increasingly dire, but his outlook never alters, and while there's certainly a dark purity to the picture's vision, there's also a repetitive sameness that dilutes any sense of tragedy. James Ellroy has spent his career writing about corrupt cops, especially in the City of Angels, and David Brown represents one of his most uncompromised creations. A normal film like this would set up a conflict in which the corrupt cop usually breaks the rules in order to nab the bad guys, and to its credit Rampart avoids this cliché. But by concentrating so strongly on the decline of a single high-strung, pugnacious, self-annihilating officer, the movie doesn't offer any context at all. Harrelson is brilliant and David is a remarkable character, but the film ends up being just a character study; that's disappointing, since Moverman had the raw materials to go deeper into topics such as the intricacies of race and law enforcement, as well as how our culture allows reckless people into positions of authority.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/15/2012
UPC:
0687797135568
Original Release:
2011
Rating:
R
Source:
Alchemy / Millennium
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:47:00

Special Features

Director's commentary; Cast and crew interviews; Behind the scenes; Previews

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Woody Harrelson Officer Dave Brown
Sigourney Weaver Joan Confrey
Robin Wright Linda Fentress
Ned Beatty Hartshorn
Ben Foster General Terry
Ice Cube Kyle Timkins
Anne Heche Catherine
Cynthia Nixon Barbara
Jon Bernthal Dan Morone
Stella Schnabel Jane
Jon Foster Michael Whittaker
Ruben Garfias Pharmacy Security Guard
Deadlee Pharmacy Punk
Dominic Flores Latino Detective
Matt McTighe 30-Year-old Cop
Brie Larson Helen
Samantha Boyarsky Margaret
Billy Hough Piano Player
Audra McDonald Sarah
Keith Woulard Shondell Parmallee
Steve Buscemi Bill Blago
Harriet Harris Stacy Cranston
Robert Wisdom Captain
Leonard Kelly-Young Cal Woodward
Ashley Thompson Captain's Daughter
Don Creech Head Shark Lawyer
Chuti Tiu Shark Lawyer #1
Sophie Kargman Helen's Girlfriend
Angelita Macias Flamenco Dancer #1
Assieh Ghassemi Flamenco Dancer #2
Mike Deldicobo Singer
Borislov Solakov Guitar Player
Francis Capra Seize Chasco
Jim O'Hagen Hotel Concierge
Tim Russ Command Staff Member #1
Bryan Rasmussen Command Staff Member #2
William Paul Clark Barbara's Boyfriend

Technical Credits
Oren Moverman Director,Screenwriter
Javier Bennassar Sound/Sound Designer
Jim Black Musical Direction/Supervision
Luca Borghese Co-producer
Bobby Bukowski Cinematographer
William Paul Clark Asst. Director
Paul Currie Executive Producer
James Ellroy Screenwriter
Ben Foster Producer
Michael Franco Executive Producer
Catherine George Costumes/Costume Designer
Mark Gordon Executive Producer
Austin Gorg Art Director
Dickon Hinchliffe Score Composer
Lawrence Inglee Producer
Bob Jackson Sound/Sound Designer
Ken Kao Producer
Garrett Kelleher Executive Producer
Clark Peterson Producer
Lisa Pinero Sound Mixer,Sound/Sound Designer
Jay Rabinowitz Editor
Laura Rosenthal Casting
Leslie Shatz Sound/Sound Designer
Rachel Tenner Casting
David Wasco Production Designer
Lila Yacoub Executive Producer

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