The official description of the terrific new movie, Rampart, starring Woody Harrelson and co-written by the great James Ellroy:
Los Angeles, 1999. Officer Dave Brown (two-time Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson) is a Vietnam vet and a Rampart Precinct cop, dedicated to doing “the people’s dirty work” and asserting his own code of justice, often blurring the lines between right and wrong to maintain his action-hero state of mind. When he gets caught on tape beating a suspect, he finds himself in a personal and emotional downward spiral as the consequences of his past sins and his refusal to change his ways in light of a department-wide corruption scandal seal his fate. Brown internalizes his fear, anguish and paranoia as his world, complete with two ex-wives who are sisters, two daughters, an aging mentor dispensing bad advice, investigators galore, and a series of seemingly random women, starts making less and less sense. In the end, what is left is a human being stripped of all his pretense, machismo, chauvinism, arrogance, sexism, homophobia, racism, aggression, misanthropy; but is it enough to redeem him as a man? Running Time: 107 min
Wow. Just wow. Did they leave anything out?
Of course, what the film is really about is a cop who will use — in leftist parlance — “any means necessary” in order to take down various bad guys and dirt bags. In other words, it’s a classic Demon Dog story of flawed men searching for redemption and seeking it in all the wrong places: with strange women, in pharmaceutical bottles, in the liquor store, and at the point of a gun. You know how it’s all going to turn out, but still you watch, fascinated.
Oh yes, and a star turn for Harrelson. Plus it’s set in David Kahane’s own beloved L.A. neighborhood of Echo Park. Not for children, the squeamish, the politically correct, social conservatives, or anyone offended by the existence of a Hobbesian world just around the corner from Dodger Stadium or, worse, in the nice house next door to you.