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Cop Car 

Wednesday, Aug 12 2015
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In director Jon Watts' proudly spartan thriller, two schoolboys (James Freedson-Jackson and Hays Wellford) run away from small town Colorado, only to find themselves caught up in a go-nowhere genre exercise. One conspicuous early shot has the camera glide unimpeded through a barbed wire fence — possibly a signal to view all that follows as merely a fantasy of preteen male wish fulfillment. Watts and co-writer Christopher D. Ford do have a dumb-but-deliberate kid logic, which is handy when most other forms of logic need not apply. Anyway, the boys discover the cop car of the movie's title abandoned in a field and take it for a fateful joyride. This draws the attention of a sheriff, played with gusto by a creepily mustachioed Kevin Bacon who looks as wiry as a strand of rationed beef jerky. A predictable game of cat-and-mouse ensues, with the mild downer of a film forced to follow what might not be an entirely feature-worthy hook. Here strutting, there limping, the movie sometimes seems at odds with itself. Its characters are whittled down into plot-serving ciphers, left to dawdle in scenes that take too long. At least there is the glib suspense of kids naively playing with loaded assault rifles. Shea Whigham and Camryn Manheim co-star.

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Jonathan Kiefer

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SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.

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