Satisfaction. Defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “ the feeling of pleasure that arises when you have the things you need or want or when the things you want to happen have happened”. The feeling of harmony or contentment you experience after the perfect meal or the result of a flawless film where all the elements are in pristine alignment and you exit feeling completely satiated, satisfied; knowing you have been entertained.
“Rampart” does not inhabit this category. Woody Harrelson, as “Date Rape Dave” gives an exhilarating performance as a cop gone rogue; playing by his own rules in 1999 Los Angeles (reminiscent of the 1991 Rodney King brutal beating by Los Angeles police officers). Dave is living in a world that, because of cell phones, instant videoing, is plummeting into the archaic. He has been married twice to sisters, (Cynthia Nixon, Anne Heche) fathering a daughter with each; residing in a guest house, their stifling proximity breeding toxicity.
The “Rampart” Division is revamping its ethical code and Dave is the obvious scapegoat; he is on tape, administrating his own street justice and now must fight or face punitive action; he is also a lawyer who has failed the bar and the best scenes scintillate with his adroitness in quoting legal precedents: he is intelligent, tragic, lost, looking for “satisfaction” in casual intimacy and profound drinking.
Perhaps the theme has become too redundant: “Serpico”, “Bad Lieutenant”, “Training Day”, “L. A.Confidential”; my favorites “Leon:The Professional” , “The Usual Suspects”. I am weary of witnessing the foibles of men who should know better; we are exposed to these nonfictional protagonists routinely through the media, so Dave’s self-destructiveness, ineptitude in owning his errors left me with cloying, unsettling indigestion.
“Rampart” is negligent in answering salient questions; serves an above- average entree, sans dessert, leaving a residual of an unsatisfying, unappetizing “cop out”.
TWO & 1/2 STARS!!
You would be better served by seeing “SAFE HOUSE” with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds; non- stop action and intrigue.
“ACT OF VALOR” a brave film starring real, active- duty Navy Seals hunting suicide bombers, kidnappers; the technology used in present day combat is worth the viewing.
Countdown to the Oscars.