Sunday, July 16, 2017

Officer Downe (2016)

Comic book movies are all the rage, with the majority of them being superhero based.  Those are the big tentpole movies that build a year of theatrical releases.  The DC movies, the X-Men movies, the Marvel movies, and any other superhero that goes onto the big screen is sure to make enough money to justify the cost.  At the same time, they become the talk of anyone watching movies.  This year has had Logan, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man: Homecoming all receive love among movie fans.  It’s a comic book world in movies right now.

Superheroes aren’t the only way in which comic books have hit the big and small screens.  There are many other types of stories told in comic books that have been adapted to video form.  The Walking Dead and Preacher are both thriving on AMC, with audiences foaming at the mouths for more.  One movie that was recently adapted from a comic book was Officer Downe, directed by one of the members of Slipknot.

Officer Downe followed Officer Gable (Tyler Ross), one of the newest members of a future Los Angeles Police Department.  He was brought into a team of special officers meant to observe and report on Officer Downe (Kim Coates).  Crazy heightened violence followed Downe wherever he went and it was up to the officers to clean up the aftermath.  Officer Downe was immortal in so much as he could be continuously resurrected in order to fight crime again.  Throughout his time watching over Officer Downe, Gable would learn a good deal about what it took to be a great police officer while trying to dig into the secrets of Downe’s resurrections.

There are aspects of Officer Downe that I liked.  The story was solid.  Having it focus on another character being brought into the world of the future LAPD was fitting because it helped the audience become accustomed to the world.  It built a connection to Officer Gable because the secrets were being revealed as he discovered them.  The story arc of Gable helped him to learn things about himself through learning things about Downe, building both his character as a police officer and Downe’s character as a force to be reckoned with.  Learning through understanding and all that.  It played out well and made for some solid entertainment.

Also working well in Officer Downe was Kim Coates.  He’s usually cool in whatever role he plays.  His casting as Officer Downe gave the character a level of cool that he might not have otherwise had because Coates knows how to play that type of character perfectly.  He filled the role to the best of his abilities which led to a police officer that could understandably be idolized.  He was someone who could be tough one moment and sympathetic the next.  There was a duality that Kim Coates brought.  Having someone else in the role would have made the whole movie feel different, which could have led to much worse things.

But not everything about Officer Downe was as good as the story and the lead performance.  The biggest problem came in the form of the direction.  One of the producers was Mark Neveldine and it showed through the direction of Shawn Crahan (Clown from Slipknot).  The movie felt like a lesser version of the movies that Neveldine directed with Brian Taylor.  The cinematography was reminiscent of Crank, Crank: High Voltage, and Gamer.  There was an appearance by Glenn Howerton, who also had a memorable role in the two Crank movies.  The problem was that Officer Downe wasn’t as strong as either of those movies.  It didn’t have the same consistent level of amped-up action blended with comedy.  The comedy may have been the biggest problem.

Officer Downe was not all that funny of a movie.  It tried to be funny and ended up grasping at straws.  The jokes fell flat.  One in particular, which came up twice, was a counter of the number of orgasms that Officer Downe was able to give a woman in one oral sex session.  It wasn’t funny when it happened early in the movie and it wasn’t funny when it came up again about halfway through.  Maybe it was the fact that the humour was trying to be edgy while being somewhat silly.  Yet that attitude worked in the Crank movies.  That attitude worked in Gamer.  For some reason, with Shawn Crahan steering the ship under Mark Neveldine’s tutelage, it never quite hit the right note.  I know that humour is subjective and opinions change from person to person, but there’s a noticeable quality shift downward with Neveldine prepping someone to carry on the legacy of his movies.  Maybe it’s a learning curve and Crahan’s next outing (if there is one) will be better.

The final thing that must be discussed about Officer Downe has nothing to do with the overall quality.  Being a member of Slipknot, Shawn Crahan was able to get some of his connections from the music industry to be involved in the movie.  The most notable were some of the members of Slipknot having acting roles.  Corey Taylor, Sid Wilson, Chris Fehn, and Crahan himself all played different characters.  The music was also influenced by Crahan’s connections.  Many of the songs on the soundtrack were performed by Gizmachi.  They are a metal band signed to Big Orange Clown Records, a label owned by Shawn Crahan.  His connections helped to build the cast and the soundtrack.

Officer Downe wasn’t a terrible movie.  It had some major problems in that it tried to be over-the-top without going all in on it.  If a movie is going to push boundaries, it better be ready to go all in on that.  Any sense of grounded reality should go out the window.  Officer Downe tried to make the action limitless but tried to have a heartfelt story of a police officer who cared about the people he was protecting.  That didn’t mix well and left a movie that could have been much more.  It felt like there was an officer down with nobody to save them.
Let’s get to some notes before we get out of here:
  • Officer Downe was suggested by @FranchiseFred.
  • Phil Morris showed up in Officer Downe.  He was also in Jingle All the Way.
  • Another second appearance in the Sunday “Bad” Movies came in the form of Meadow Williams, who was also in Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls.
  • Finally, Shad Gaspard had a role in Officer Downe after popping up in Sandy Wexler.
  • Have you seen Officer Downe?  What did you think of it?  Did you have a similar opinion to mine or were we complete opposites?  Let me know in the comments.
  • If you have a suggestion for a movie I should watch as a part of the Sunday “Bad” Movies, you can let me know in the comments section.  I’m always looking for movies I might not know about.  Bring some of them to my attention.  Twitter or the comments section.
  • One place where you can see clips of the bad movies that I watch for this blog is snapchat.  I sometimes add movie clips.  I sometimes add other things.  Add me.  jurassicgriffin
  • You’re probably wondering what next week’s movie is.  It’s an interesting one for sure, and one that I wasn’t too excited about seeing for a second time.  Movie 43 has found its time to show up, and I’ll be writing about it in next week’s post.  The movie is a doozy, though I do have more of an appreciation for it now than I did when I first saw it.  Who knows what I’ll write though?  We’ll see next week.

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