Magnet has released Officer Downe on Blu-ray. This is a 2016 action sci-fi comedy film from Magnolia Pictures. Does this release have what it takes to earn a spot in your film collection? Read on to find out!
Officer Downe is the debut film from director Shawn Crahan. You may recognize him as a founding member of the band Slipknot. It is written by Joe Casey, the co-creator of Ben 10 and writer of various super hero cartoons. Starring as Officer Downe is Kim Coates who has around 130 acting credits on IMDB, most notably Sons of Anarchy. Everyone else is just sort of side character actors and I didn’t see anyone of special note.
The film is based on the Man of Action/Image Comics original graphic novel created by Joe Casey and Chris Burnham. It feels a bit like a blended mishmash of every cop/superhero cliche imaginable. It’s basically the story of a cop who cannot be stopped even when he is killed, as he just keeps coming back the next day to fight crime once again. The movie tagline is “Crime never sleeps, but justice never dies”.
It has elements of Deadpool, Sin City, Robocop, and even some Minority Report mixed in. Now, I’m not saying that it is as good or entertaining as those films. It’s just the fact that it has copied some of the style and story from them. For a comedy it’s not very funny, for an action movie it’s very amateurish/cheap and for a sci-fi movie it is laughably bad. So what do you get out of it? I think this is destined to be a “cult classic” in about 15 years.
There is an audience for this type of film that straddles the line between trying to be funny and being made fun of. It’s almost to the line of being so bad it’s good but you can clearly see the intent on having that mood and the inability of the content creators to hit that mark. It doesn’t quite work for me because of that. I was really hoping it would be another Spirit, Barb Wire, Tank Girl, or even The Phantom. Instead we got Officer Dumbed Downe.
One issue is that there are already so many great R-rated, stylized cop movies out there. So nothing in the film felt fresh or imaginative. Also the tone violently shifts in the film, which is distracting. You will go from an adult version of a Scott Pilgrim scene directly into a Joel Schumacher Batman villain and then into a multiple minute dialogue scene of backstory. The editing and camera angles are going for a stylized approach but honestly it’s more distracting than immersive.
There are too many throwaway characters and villains, plus there is no time to care about any of them. It’s almost like the film itself knows it doesn’t have a good story and is trying to get through it as quick as possible. The lead character is shown as being almost robotic in personality and we never fear for his safety. Officer Downe literally just stands and takes bullet hits until he is “downed” (ha-ha) and a team comes, picks up his lifeless corpse, and resurrects him WITH SCIENCE for the next day’s adventures. This would work so much better as short episodes rather than a feature length film.
The picture quality is what you would expect for a modern lower budgeted action movie to look like. There are a lot of stylized effects and rapid editing techniques used that some will not enjoy. The sound comes courtesy of a DTS-Master Audio which is nice. There are English and Spanish subtitles.
Behind the scenes
Interview with Actor Kim Coates
Officer Downe Final Thoughts:
Officer Downe never really hit any of the marks I was hoping for in a film like this. The comedy wasn’t funny, the action wasn’t exciting and the story wasn’t engaging. I think some of the character designs are interesting and the premise (while not very original) has some promise. I think the inexperience of the director really hurt with the decisions made in the film. Office Downe is destined to make one of those “unknown, under appreciated comic book movies” lists about 10 years from now. Hopefully it can find it’s niche audience then.
If you think you might be interested in seeing the film I would strongly suggest a rental first to see if it is for you. Otherwise I think you can pass on it and not really miss anything. It does have a spiffy prismatic slip cover. If you just have to have every super hero comic book movie made you can always buy it here on Amazon, although I would suggest waiting for a sale. Up to you.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.