Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Woody Harrelson gives a look-at-me performance as a rogue LAPD cop in Oren Moverman's style-over-substance misfire "Rampart." Moverman aims to create, in Harrelson's Dave Brown, an iconic embodiment of paranoid, self-righteous vigiliantism, but peppering Brown's vocabulary with a few two-dollar words doesn't make him iconic any more than clogging the soundtrack with right-wing talk radio and the noise of the vacuum cleaner in the adjacent apartment conveys paranoia. The movie is plot-heavy, which is a problem because the plot is a muddled mess, so that when the lights abruptly came on, we looked at each other befuddled and asked, "Okay, what just happened?" Interesting performances by Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Ned Beatty and Ice Cube get lost in a morass of coincidences and bizarre camera angles in a picture that's less than the sum of its parts.