A Toronto International Film Festival selection this year, anticipation for it was high, however, since it screened at the festival (its debut) reviews have been mixed. Though there’s still buzz around it, especially with regards to star Woody Harrelson’s performance. Some are talking Oscar.
Ice Cube co-stars, along with Ben Foster in this gritty cop drama titled Rampart, from a script written by none other than James Ellroy, which Oren Moverman (The Messenger, which also starred Harrelson and Foster by the way, and earned Moverman an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay, as well as one for Harrelson in the Best Supporting Actor category).
In Rampart, Ice Cube plays a homicide detective sent to investigate a dirty cop (Harrelson) in a story based on the Rampart scandal, involving police corruption in Los Angeles, during the 1990s.
More on the Rampart police scandal From Wikipedia:
The Rampart scandal refers to widespread corruption in the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (or CRASH) anti-gang unit of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Rampart Division in the late 1990s. More than 70 police officers in the CRASH unit were implicated in misconduct, making it one of the most widespread cases of documented police misconduct in United States history. The convicted offenses include unprovoked shootings, unprovoked beatings, planting of evidence, framing of suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury, and covering up evidence of these activities. The Rampart Scandal is notable in popular culture because at least three Rampart police were found to be on the payroll of hip-hop mogul Marion “Suge” Knight of Death Row Records, a convicted felon with known ties to the Bloods gang. Moreover, detective testimony and a wrongful death lawsuit filed on April 16, 2007, holds Rampart CRASH officers Nino Durden, Rafael Pérez and David Mack responsible for the 1997 drive-by murder of multi platinum-selling hip hop recording artist Notorious B.I.G.
So… yeah… hmmm… there’s some irony in the fact that Ice Cube is co-starring in this… and as a cop! A good cop, mind you :)
But given the team behind this, and what I saw of the last film Moverman made with Harrelson and Foster, which I thought was a well-acted, well-paced, and proficient everywhere else, Rampart should be worth a peek whenever it’s released (no date yet). Despite the mixed reviews, I’m interested in checking it out; and the newly released series of clips below gives me some hope: