Officer Downe (2016)

officerdowneIf only Officer Downe were a phony trailer wedged into Grindhouse’s midsection and went no further, it would be perfect. Instead, it is a full feature film — one that tries the soul before tearing it. The initial feature to be directed by clown-masked Slipknot founder Shawn Crahan, it exists from elements of RoboCop, Taxi Driver and a failed Adderall placebo, yet puts onscreen what neither Paul Verhoeven nor Martin Scorsese dared: a running “Orgasm Counter” — twice, in fact, just in case you don’t get your fill of this “joke” the first time it wears out its never-extended welcome.

Based on the same-named graphic novel — emphasis on “graphic” — Officer Downe puts Kim Coates (The Last Boy Scout) in the uniform of the LAPD cop who cannot be killed, at least not permanently. Armed with a custom .85 Magnum and a God-given bad attitude, Downe battles the devilish scourges of the City of Angels, from a group of gun-running nuns (including Drag Me to Hell’s Alison Lohman) and the animal-headed criminal organization dubbed the Fortune 500 to the martial-arts dynamo Zen Master Flash (Sona Eyambe, Wolf Warrior), whose speech is out of sync with his mouth movements — a wacky idea that died 31 years ago with Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment.

officerdowne1“Gun-runnin’ nuns? Are you fucking kidding me?” asks one apoplectic character, echoing my exact sentiments.

Faithfully adapted for the screen by Downe creator Joe Casey, the movie is a candy-colored mess that carelessly yet knowingly scatters flakes of its own detritus everywhere. Crahan’s crank-addled camera is not its problem; that dubious honor falls to a failure to justify its existence, and mind you, I would have accepted “just for fun” as an answer. But it’s not fun. Gleefully infantile and all too reliant on the word “fuck,” it reminded me of the witless comics that junior-high classmates and I would draw, exquisite corpse-style, in attempts to amuse ourselves on days of standardized testing: We knew they were terrible, but we had to do something while waiting quietly for the football players and/or woodshop students to struggle to finish each section. You, however? You have a choice of a million other flicks. Like Slipknot’s popular brand of nü-metal noise, I am sure Officer Downe has its place; I am more certain I reside nowhere near it. —Rod Lott

Get it at Amazon.


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