American cinema of the 1990s was content to look back as often as it looked forward. It is no surprise then, that it was also the decade of the comeback. A time for faded movie stars to revitalise their careers.
Sylvester Stallone’s career was well in need of resuscitation by the time he landed a role in James Mangold’s 1997 film, Cop Land. Sly piled on the pounds in order to play Freddy Heflin, the sheriff of a New Jersey town full of corrupt New York City cops. With little evidence, he must find a young cop who can testify against the city officers and bring them to justice.
Cop Land never quite lives up to this intriguing premise - Mangold’s film falls back on familiar tropes when it should be taking risks. It bombed at the box office, postponing Sly's come back for several years. Stallone would never again tackle such a serious role, which is a shame, because his sad, understated performance hints at a dramatic career that could have been. For this reason, Cop Land is well worth a rental.
Title: Cop Land (Blu-ray)
Director: James Mangold