Rampart (2011) starring Woody Harrelson, Ned Beatty, Ben Foster, Anne Heche, Ice Cube, Cynthia Nixon, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright directed by Oren Moverman Movie Review

Rampart (2011)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Woody Harrelson in Rampart (2011)

Defiant in Rampart

Officer Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson) is an arseole and respects no one; that includes the young police woman who is shadowing him and who he forces to eat fries which she ordered but didn't want. He also has little respect for his two ex-wives, who just happen to be sisters, who just happen to live next door to him with each having a kid by him, which makes his daughters both sisters and cousins. But Dave is also a law unto himself and when a video appears on TV of him nearly beating a man to death in the Rampart area of LA it gets him in to a whole lot of trouble as assistant district attorney Joan Confrey (Sigourney Weaver) wants to make an example of him.

Sometimes there is more enjoyment reading reviews of movies than watching movies themselves and that for me was the case when it came to "Rampart" starring Woody Harrelson amongst a whole list of recognizable names. Now on one hand there is a review from a critic which rates this as one of the greatest movies of 2011 yet there is another review from another critic which reckoned whilst Woody Harrelson is fantastic the movie as a whole struggles. And then there are the opinions of the general movie goers with many who think it is a total waste of time. It makes you wonder how a movie can have such diverse opinion but it all comes down to what you watch "Rampart" for.

Now if you are a movie fan who watches a movie to be entertained "Rampart" is going to be hard work, there is no real narrative arc as we are tossed into the world of Dave Brown and witness what an arseole he is. Yes there are numerous stars that crop up which eases things but there is no traditional story and instead we are given a character to watch who ends up on a path of self destruction. Now unless you enjoy watching actors bringing depth to a character this is going to be as dull as dishwater because the truth is that it is not what happens to Dave Brown what we watch it is how Dave Brown deals with it, how he believes his own shit and that he thinks he can boss anyone about.

But if you are a fan of this sort of character based move then "Rampart" will be great and in fairness Woody Harrelson delivers one of his best performances as he just becomes this unrepentant character. But where is it going, in fact you begin to question whether "Rampart" is going to go anywhere and whether we will exit the movie in the same abrupt way that we enter it.

What this all boils down to is that "Rampart" didn't do it for me and whilst I enjoy character studies it didn't have enough narrative to sustain my interest for its duration. But it did feature a fantastic performance from Harrelson who convinces the audience quickly that he an unrepentant son of a bitch.