About 30 minutes into Officer Downe, the Marshall Mathers line, "Hey kids do you like violence? Wanna see me stick nine inch nails through each one of my eyelids?" replayed about seven times in my brain. It wasn't until later that it all made sense why that particular line from Eminem's Hi My Name Is... was repeating so much. Directed by M. Shawn Crahan (a.k.a. Slipknot percussionist Clown), and produced by one half of the team that created the hyper Jason Statham actioner Crank, Officer Downe feels like the by-product of an era when Eminem was playfully murdering his wife, disturbed individuals were down with a sickness, and anyone who didn't like Fred Durst doing it all for the nookie could take a cookie to the ass. Loud, willfully obnoxious, and rotten to the core, the film, based on a 2010 graphic novel, is like a post nu-metal era movie that would've felt at home in 2005.
The aforementioned description can be seen as a negative or a positive, it all depends on whether or not you appreciate schlock. Being a fan of '80s throwback Hobo With A Shotgun and the two deliriously asinine Crank films (I mean that in the best way possible), I was ready. I was ready for the screaming vocals assaulting down-tuned guitars soundtrack. I was ready for the smart-ass dullards firing endless rounds and pouting sub-Tarantino dialogue while visual meta-edits clutter the screen like Natural Born Killers-era Oliver Stone at his Oliver Stoniest. I was psyched to watch a clever flick that appealed to my inner neanderthal. I mean, if ever a movie deserved a world premiere on Spike TV, this is it.
After a raspy monologue, we are introduced to our title character (Kim Coates) giving a woman a record 14 orgasms. You may ask yourself, "How do we know there were 14 orgasms?" Thankfully there is an orgasm counter at the bottom of the screen to give you the tally. Downe, like most 14 orgasm-givers, shrugs her off so he can go fight crime. We cut to an establishing shot of Los Angeles. We know it's Los Angeles because the graphic says: Motherfucking L.A. Downe wreaks havoc on a drug lab producing "super-crank" but not before the pusher blows up himself and Downe. We soon learn that Downe is no ordinary cop. Thanks to super science-y stuff, he is constantly resurrected and returned to active duty when he is killed in the line of duty.
We meet a rookie officer named Gable (Tyler Ross) who is recruited as backup during Downe's missions. A shadowy crime syndicate, The Fortune 500, is trying its damndest to put Downe down for good. I should probably mention that the members of this syndicate have animal heads. I should probably also mention Glenn Howerton's (a.k.a. Dennis Reynolds from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia ) cameo as a guy killed by gun-crazed nuns and the ninja master, Zen Master Flash — who speaks in poorly dubbed English ( ala a joke from Wayne's World 2). By the end , mayhem and wackiness have ensued multiple times over while revealing the secret of the sex machine zombie cop.
Kim Coates, best known for his role as Tig from Sons Of Anarchy, is pretty good when he is actually on screen. Unfortunately, most of the film is devoted to Gable as he learns more about how Downe is able to be revived. If you took the original 1987 version of Robocop, decided to lose the satiric teeth and zero the focus on Nancy Allen's Anne Lewis character, you'll have a good idea what you're in for. Then again, even if the film had focused squarely on the titular character, I'm not sure it would have been much help. It has a wince-inducing outdated quality to it.
Maybe if it was 2005, the film's vapidity would feel refreshingly offbeat or if it was 2022, the machismo would feel refreshingly retro.
One need look no further than Deadpool to see that cartoonish violence, profane dialogue, and even the occasional naked bodacious babe can still work today. Crahan's film wears its batshittiness like a badge of honor. That lunacy informs some of the messy film's few semi-sharper moments. Unlike Deadpool though, there is minimal attempt to be anything more than the juvenile middle finger Officer Downe proudly extends throughout its 90 minute running time. I can appreciate that but little else.