Officer Downe – LA Film Fest Review

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The graphic novel “Officer Downe” was, at one point, considered too weird and violent to adapt for the big screen. Yet producer Mark Neveldine (Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance), director Shawn Crahan (Slipknot’s founding member), and screenwriter Joe Casey (co-creator of Officer Downe) decided to take on the challenge of adapting the graphic novel. Do Crahan and company succeed in adapting the impossible or do they prove the doubters right?

The doubters are definitely right here because Officer Downe is hands-down one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. Yes, it’s worse than Birdemic or anything that Uwe Boll has made.

Officer Downe follows Officer Downe (Kim Coates) an “immortal” cop who is raised from the dead whenever he is killed on duty. Time and time again, he returns from the dead to fight crime that is plaguing Los Angeles.

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As a film, Officer Downe feels a little bit like an homage to the B-movie exploitation films of the past. As it is with any B-movie, there are copious amounts of blood, gore, dismemberments, and expletives to be found. In this case, the film succeeds but this is where the similarities end because these bad B-movies were, at the very least, self-aware and fun. When it comes down to it, Officer Downe just isn’t fun at all.

Director Shawn Crahan created a chaotically drab film where a majority of the film are action sequences where Downe gets killed at the end. After a while, this formula starts to get old real fast. The entire film felt soulless and a bit uninspired. The film also suffers from ADD-style editing and disorienting cinematography which leads to a very jarring experience.

There isn’t necessarily a story to be found either. Officer Downe establishes that a group of badly costumed, hammy, and horny anthropomorphic animals, called the “Fortune 500,” are the big bad villains in the film. Yet nothing really happens with the “Fortune 500” and, truth be told, nothing of importance really happens in the film. Minor villains get killed as quickly as they get introduced.

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On top of all that, the film’s dialogue is awful as well. Admittedly, I have not read the graphic novel the film is based on, yet screenwriter and Downe co-creator Joe Casey has filled the film is so many hammy lines of dialogue that you would think he was making a ham sandwich. After a while, the lines of dialogue that were meant to be funny becomes laborious after a while. There’s so many bad one-liners and cheesy banter that one can take.

If there’s a silver lining in all of this, it’s that Kim Coates does a terrific job playing the title character. Coates exudes a badassness that it helps make this character look and feel cool. It’s just too bad that he didn’t have better material to work with. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast isn’t as strong. Both Tyler Ross and Lauren Vélez provides very wooden performances and the “Fortune 500” are incredibly irritating with their overacting.

Granted, not all of Officer Downe is terrible. The martial arts master schtick with Zen Master Flash is hilarious and Officer Downe is pretty bad ass. However, the bad FAR outnumber the good here.

Overall, Officer Downe had all of the elements to become the next Robocop, but the film is the total opposite of what it aspires to be. It’s simply not fun, entertaining, or any good. There may be enough weird moments in Officer Downe to please the right audience, but for the general moviegoer, this is a hard pass.

Rating: 0/5 atoms

 

 

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