Cop dramas are a dime a dozen, and yet filmmakers still manage to find a way to squeeze compelling stories out of the genre, and occasionally a memorable film as well. Brian A. Miller’s Officer Down falls somewhere in the middle due both to its positive and negative traits. A cast filled with familiar faces like Stephen Dorff, The Shield’s Walton Goggins, James Woods, Dominic Purcell, Stephen Lang, David Boreanaz, and AnnaLynne McCord make for a wide range of interesting characters, but the story they’re in is so convoluted that for the first hour of the film you’re not entirely certain what’s going on—and yet it tantalizes just enough of a mystery to help you overlook some shaky clichéd dialogue and keep focused on trying to figure out what all the moving pieces are working towards.
Detective Callahan has had a rough past couple of years, and his time spent running in circles with under the table dealings that might reflect badly on his post is no secret to his superiors (James Woods, Stephen Lang). That part of his life came to a climax that left him with two gunshot wounds in his stomach and a mysterious savior that alerted the police to his distress. When that savior asks him to repay the favor by tracking down the man (Goggins) he believes was responsible for his sister’s death, Callahan finds himself heading back into the life he tried to leave behind to enact justice, only to discover the situation is something else entirely.
Officer Down’s ability to evade clichés in its ambiguous story for the first two acts is all but undone by the few nonsensical elements packed in to help keep things murky. It all evens out to a serviceable cop drama better suited for fans of the genre than the casual passerby.
Blu-ray Bonus Features
There are none.
"Officer Down" is on sale January 22, 2013 and is rated R. Crime, Drama. Directed by Brian A Miller. Written by John Chase. Starring David Boreanaz, James Woods, Stephen Dorff, Stephen Lang, Walton Goggins, Annelynne Mccord.