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Rampart 2011

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Veteran police officer Dave Brown is the last of the renegade cops in the Los Angeles Police Department, dedicated to doing "the people's dirty work" and asserting his own code of justice. When he gets caught on tape beating a suspect, he finds himself in a downward spiral as he struggles to take care of his family, and fight for his own survival.

Starring:
Woody Harrelson, Jon Bernthal
Runtime:
1 hour, 43 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller, Action & Adventure, Crime
Director Oren Moverman
Starring Woody Harrelson, Jon Bernthal
Supporting actors Stella Schnabel, Jon Foster, Ben Foster, Ruben Garfias, Deadlee, Dominic Flores, Matt McTighe, Cynthia Nixon, Anne Heche, Brie Larson, Sammy Boyarsky, Billy Hough, Audra McDonald, Keith Woulard, Steve Buscemi, Harriet Sansom Harris, Robert Wisdom, Sigourney Weaver
Studio StudioCanal
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First I have to admit I am a big fan of Woody Harrelson and respect the diversity of the films he has contributed to but this is an odd one. I nearly went to see this at the Cinema and am quite glad I didn't, mainly because I know my wife would not have lasted the distance. It is a character study of an unpleasant cop Dave Brown who's life unravels after he is filmed beating a motorist. The things I do like about the film is the way it plays with racism. Dave is branded a racist for the attack after a motorist crashes into his car and tries to flee but you get the feeling the motorist would have got a beating whatever colour he was. Dave has a black Chief who seems to respect him and is happy to sleep with a black woman he picks up in a bar. This is left unresolved as are many other threads in the film. I am all for untidy endings but this just seems to run out of steam. The fact I do want to know more is a testament to Harrelson who is excellent even managing to give a deeply unpleasant character some humanity. The supporting cast are under used but solid and the pace is quite slow. If you are into action thrillers this will not be your sort of film but if you like films that make you think this could be for you.
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Format: DVD
If action flicks are your thing, then probably best to steer clear of this. It's more slow-burn and arty than most cop-gone-bad movies.
Film buffs will identify all kinds of echoes in Rampart: Harvey Keitel as the Bad Lieutenant; Clint Eastwood as the original Dirty Harry, but Woody Harrelson's explosive performance as `Date Rape Dave' deserves recognition in its own right. His corrupt cop isn't just a nasty piece of work: he's an unreconstructed bigot of the worst order, who's about to be submerged in a tsunami of red-tape touchy-feeley focus-group `affirmative action', internal investigations and the ultimate implosion of his extremely dubious personal life. This is a guy who has serially married two sisters and had a daughter by each of them. And now none of them can stand to be in the same room as him. Date Rape Dave has issues. Anger management; relationship; misogynist, aggressive and violent issues. He's an awful, wonderful force of nature to watch.

Yet at the heart of it, Dave doesn't see himself to be a bad man, and he believes that he's being a good soldier, a genuinely good cop. He's struggling to maintain order in a world which appears to be falling apart. When the law won't bring justice then Dave takes matters into his own hands. His 'date rape' nickname isn't an insult. It's a macho compliment from his LAPD workmates, congratulating him on permanently `resolving' the problem of a predator they couldn't take to court. Dave doesn't see himself as part of the problem: his violence is his only solution. Dave doesn't have many tools in his box, and as he only wields a hammer, then every problem tends to look like a nail...
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Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Another movie about a cop being bad but thinking he is doing the right thing. Based around a real event, the 'Rampart Scandal' - which I was unfamiliar with and the film didn't really make it clear what the scandal was all about - Woody Harrelson plays 'Daterape' Dave Brown who is the type of cop the authorities want to seen thrown off the force. He wanders about the place looking forlorn, tries to outsmart the lawyers by being cleverer than them, and has an unconventional home life where he seems to live with his two ex-wives (who might have been sisters) and his two daughters - one from each wife.

The movie is rather vague and noirish in the way it tells the story of Dave's descent into oblivion. It was scripted by James Ellroy whose own books deal with a similar theme but are far superior to this movie. For me it had a similar feel to 'Driven' in the rather loose story telling format but it ultimately felt hollow and without substance.
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Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Rampart is a gritty retro style bad cop film. It's full of high contrast colour and the documentary style camera work roves around, never settling for an instance. At times this is distracting, however for the main, it's successful in attempt to add a realistic element.

There are scores of films that follow the internal struggles of police departments and their workers and Rampart offers very little original material. What is paramount is that there is no black and white with Woody's character, one minute he's clearly making bad decisions and moments later viewers will empathise with another set of actions. It's this balance that makes Rampart lift above it's mediocre plot.

The documentary style is suited to DVD however the sound is at times poorly presented, with several lines almost inaudible.

The extras are weak, with some TV quality interviews (questions presented via on screen text) and an average making of which offers little insight in to what is actually a complex film.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a film that the screenplay was co-written by James Ellroy of `La Confidential' `Blood is a Rover' etc. Yes he has his own style and yes he is a demi god amongst his fans, but quite often the allure, sleaze and passion that his books effervesce can not be transferred to the screen, as in `Black Dahlia' and this can be accused of the same flaws.

It stars Woody Harrelson as Dave Brown, chauvinistic, violent, renegade, bad boy cop. He sees himself as doing societies `dirty work' and uses one line quips to justify his ways to fellow officers, like `illegal is just a sick bird'. He is also living with his ex wives who are sisters and both have daughters from him, who are also living under the same, powder keg of a claustrophobic roof. Then he goes off the deep end and beets the heck out of a guy who has crashed into his patrol car and legged it. This is all conveniently caught on camera by a film crew rather reminiscent of Rodney King.

Then he comes under the scrutiny of the Internal Affairs and his nick name of `Date Rape Dave' comes back to haunt him as he is alleged to have killed a known date rapist in questionable circumstances. His drinking and womanising then go off the scale as his career and life begin to fall apart, but he still has friends and options.

A lot of people did not like or enjoy this film, but I found it to be compelling. It has a plethora of stars including Sigourney Weaver, Ice Cube and Steve Buscemi but they have very little screen time so do not really get the chance to have too great an impact, it is Harrelson who carries the whole thing and I feel he does for a majority of the time.
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