In a lot of ways, Cop Car is like Mud‘s older, darker cousin. Both are anchored by tremendous performances by kids almost too young to be that good at acting. Both feature an established actor in a career-reviving role. Both are great films.
Cop Car has a remarkably simple premise: two kids run away from home, find a cop car in the woods, and take it for a joy ride. The trailer is great:
But the trailer also makes you wonder how this premise can sustain a 90-minute movie. Remarkably, the movie rarely drags. That’s a real testament to how great these kids are in the lead roles, and how well their characters are written. The film also wisely cuts back and forth between the kids and Kevin Bacon‘s character, the sheriff who lost the titular cop car. Aside from being a real dumb-dumb and leaving his car in a situation where two pre-teens could steal his car, his vehicle harbors some dark secrets that the trailer throws in your face.
Parts of the film feel a little contrived and overly coincidental. I won’t spoil anything, but I found myself asking, “Really? That person just happens to be there?” once or twice. That doesn’t subtract (too much) from the overall product. Cop Car is a tight thriller and one definitely worth your time. (Also worth your time is Mud, because everything produced during the McConaissance is worth watching. Everything.)