Woody Harrelson gives a ferocious performance as a dirty cop, balancing a home life with two ex-wives as he becomes embroiled in the Los Angeles Police Department’s infamous Rampart corruption scandal. –TIFF
The script when focused on Woody Harrelson's "Dan Brown" is top notch from crime writer James Ellroy and director Moverman. Unfortunately the characters on the sidelines are mostly cyphers and undeveloped. Though spellbound by the powerhouse performance by Harrelson one can't help but want to know more about the character's family, the investigation/conspiracy? against him and most of the fragile Robin Wright.
I initially condemned "Rampart" as an ugly mess, but after soldiering through this bleak and affecting meditation on evil a second time, I've found a brilliant film that is in fact superior to Moverman's "The Messenger." This is a scathing movie that effortlessly draws up empathy and disgust (often at the same time) for captivatingly real characters as repulsive as they are pitiful. The minimal violence is awkward and ugly. There is no final plot twist, no realization, no redemption. "Rampart" is simply a complicated portrait of a complicated man, handled beautifully. It's everything noir wasn't meant to be, and I mean that in the best possible way.
Rampart's noteworthy in only featuring Woody Harrelson, the film itself is a slog. Rampart's use of choppy editing, documentarian-like narrative and obnoxious characters make it difficult to watch more than once. There is a reason Rampart has become lost and forgotten: not because it is an indie production but more due to it not being as bold with it's concept and setting as it suggests. Watch Bad Lieutenant instead.
Woody Harrelson’s performance is “the finest, most harrowing thing he’s ever done.”
Also: The Passion of Joan of Arc accompanied by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp).