Rampart begins, but has no middle or end. It doesn’t build on anything, the plot doesn’t go anywhere. The entire time you’re there watching, expecting something to happen, something to change, but there’s nothing. It’s difficult to focus and too easy to get distracted.
The only thing that kept me watching was Woody Harrelson. He’s a very strong actor, very believable – no matter what role he’s given to portray, he manages to pull it off. He’s very believable.
In Rampart, Harrelson plays the role of a bitter, corrupt LAPD cop who’s used to doing the “dirty work” to catch the bad guys. He’s a no-holds-barred type of character and will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Officer Dave Brown (Harrelson) is a Vietnam vet and a Rampart Precinct cop, who walks around his jurisdiction asserting his own form of justice – there is no right or wrong, only his way. But things don’t always go as planned and one day he gets caught on tape beating a suspect, and his whole world comes falling down fast.
Now he has to deal with the consequences of his past sins and his refusal to change his ways, all while his department is being investigated on a department-wide corruption scandal. The story is about his constant fall – just when you think things can’t get any worse, he digs himself a bigger hole.
His family life is non-existent, or rather should be, due to the lack of any sort of bond between him and his daughters. There are no real emotions there, no real connection, not one that a parent should have for a child anyway.
Just when you think it’s getting somewhere, you’re let down. The film just drags, we see no real progression or conclusion. And with a film like this, it needs an ending. At least if the ending was good, it would make up for its lack of plot.
In the end, the only thing that saved this film were its great actors. Rampart also stars Ned Beatty, Ben Foster, Anne Heche, Ice Cube, Cynthia Nixon, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright and Steve Buscemi.
If you’re a fan of Harrelson, then check out Rampart for yourself and let me know what you think.