VOD Releases: Black Cop (2018) - Reviewed

If it were that movie titles were judged just as a first impression of a cover of a book, perhaps Black Cop might catch some off guard. Without any knowledge of who was in this movie or what it is about, I was convinced that Black Cop was a throwback to the 1970’s black exploitation days. I could already see Black Cop being a Shaft-type character, fighting off ninjas in his perfectly sculpted and oiled up bare chest. He’d be a smooth talker, always getting the ladies as a disco-fused soundtrack played over the entire film.

Boy. I sure was wrong.

Black Cop is not a smooth-talker nor does he fight off one single ninja in the entire movie. Black Cop is a heavy-hitter about race and police brutality in the African-American community. It takes a social narrative and completely reverses it in order to put these matters into perspective. Black Cop makes a point to evolve it’s self from racial stereotypes such as what we may have seen in the days of black exploitation cinema. I couldn't help but feel foolish while watching the movie for dreaming up such a whimsical idea of what it could be about based on the title alone. The title makes it obvious that there is strong relevance within the film’s narrative. That message, however, is often conveyed in the most obvious way possible. 

Black Cop has a brilliant set up when it comes to establishing it’s main character. Black Cop (the only name he is referred to) has no remorse for the other members of the African-American community until he is profiled by law enforcement while off-duty. Now with a brand new perspective, he goes on a tirade against the white community. The brutality he inflicts is interluded with direct commentary coming from the character standing on a stage or in one particular instance, a doing a tap dance. This was one of the more “obvious” directions the film took that frankly could have done without. The film inevitably has a powerful message. It isn't necessary to have Black Cop literally drop a mic after the movie makes a crucial point.

Ronnie Rowe is powerful, convincing, and effective as the lead and proves to the audience that he is rather multi-talented through those little interludes. Sophia Walker gives a wonderful supporting performance with the screen time that she is given and I do wish that we could have seen more of her. The editing of Black Cop is one of the strongest suits of the film and most impressive being that the way scenes were cut were a pinnacle part in how the story unfolded. On a technical level, Black Cop has few, if any, faults.

I admire Black Cop for going to a place where cinema has yet to go. I appreciate the progressiveness of the narrative and the bold nature of the film. Still, there is a part of me that is so disappointed; a part of me that feels like it completely missed the mark. The movie has such a perfect set-up and then goes on to contradict it’s self in the most obvious way possible. Black Cop may be an instigator in introducing these social issues in modern cinema, but it is an unfulfilling instigator at that.

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-Holly Glinski