Movie Review: "Rampart" cruises with the demons of a dirty cop

It’s 1999 Los Angeles and Rodney King’s request for us all to just get along has come and gone as have the riots that followed. Most residents are eager to move on from this embarrassing time for the City of Angels while a precious few can not. Meet Dave Brown…Vietnam Vet and a battled scarred cop who has more fondness for his moniker, “Date Rape Dave,” than he does for his badge. A vigilante in the express lane on the Highway to Hell, Dave Brown hates all people equally yet is a master in the art of seduction that no woman can rebuff. Confident and eloquent, he has the word or action for every scenario...good, bad and everything in between.

Loosely based on real events, "Rampart" is co-written by James Ellroy (who also wrote “L.A. Confidential”) and Oren Moverman, who is also the Director of this film. “Rampart,” is a character study set in the Wild, Wild West of present day. Woody Harrelson gives a irresistible performance as Dave Brown. You wanna hate him but damn yourself for extending compassion to a rogue…and a rogue cop at that! The cast is rich with surprise performances including Broadway legend and operatic diva, Audra McDonald, Cynthia Nixon, of Sex and the City fame, and even rapper-turn- actor, Ice Cube, pops up for some fab face time. Expect to also encounter Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright and Ann Heche, some caricatures and some not. Brie Larson commands the screen in her every scene as Helen, Dave’s teenage daughter coming to terms with the character (or lack of) of her dad. Deliberately slow paced but intense with ambiguity, "Rampart" is a hypnotic ride on cruise control in low gear. But, don’t forget to fasten your seatbelt; it’s still going to be a very, bumpy ride.

Our host, Stefanie Alleyne, sit downs with panelists, Robyn Ferrari, a theatrical actress; Olivia Narcisse, project manager for a commercial furniture design company; and Ashley Benzwie, a multidisciplinary artist; at The Highliner Diner in the Chelsea neighborhood in New York City, to discuss this engrossing film. To learn more about today's panelists and to view other reviews, check out our website

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