Frank Grillo is Teddy Murretto, an informant who many people want dead. Sensing it’d be better to be in custody than on the run, he punches rookie police officer Valerie Young as played by Alexis Louder. Now being safely locked up in the police station’s basement, everything would seem to be going fine for Frank. That is until the police arrest a drunk driver and throw him in the cell opposite. This is because that guy’s not drunk. That guy is, in fact, big, bad, Bob Viddick a professional hitman as played by Gerard Butler and he’s come to collect the bounty on Teddy. However, the clock is ticking for them all as there are a bunch of corrupt FBI agents who also want Teddy dead – and no witnesses. Yet, standing between them all is Alexis Louder who’s not going to let either of her prisoners go without a fight…

… The bad guys are coming and the appropriately-titled Gun Creek police station is about to lit up like the Ok Corral.

Despite its initial appearances, Copshop is a much better film than first impressions might suggest. Coming on like a Netflix movie-of-the-week with a growling Gerard Butler shooting up the place, it’s so much better than that Butler’s earlier cops-being-badder-than-the-bad-guys flick (2018’s Den of Thieves). –The reason? Well, there are many. 

For one, Gerard Butler has a much more nuanced role – and for the record – I know the guy can act as anybody who saw Ralph Fiennes’s Coriolanus can testify to. Two, it’s not his movie. If anything the movie belongs to Watchmen‘s Alexis Louder in a standout role as a rookie police officer Valerie Young. Clearly, a new star being born, Louder manages to balance Copshop with a believable sense of earnestness and unflappable determination. Frank Grillo also throws in a more than decent performance as Teddy but Toby Huss’s arrival as a psychotic hitman really raises the ante. All disarming charm and with a complete indifference to murder, Huss’s Tony is so much more than an amuse-bouche before the movie’s final course. 

So, if all of this is sounding like Copshop has taken more than a slice out of John Carpenter’s 1976 Assault on Precinct 13, you would be right. The bad guys are coming and the appropriately-titled Gun Creek police station is about to lit up like the Ok Corral. Yet, Alexis Louder imbues both her character and the movie with so much more than just shells stuffed into a ten gauge.w2w3

In the end, delivering surprises whilst also ticking some welcomely progressive boxes on the way, Copshop‘s conclusion is a pretty satisfying affair (if a little bit sequel-friendly). So, if you’re looking for a decent crime drama to light up your weekend, then this surprising ensemble has got the right kind of speeding ticket.

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