Dave Brown is a Los Angeles police officer who works out of the Rampart Division. Dave is misogynistic, racist, brutally violent, egotistical and a womanizer, although he defends himself against many of these accusations as he says that his hate is equal opportunity. However unlawful, he uses intimidation and brutal force to defend his ideals. The most notorious of his actions is purportedly murdering a suspected serial date rapist, which is why he has been given the nickname "Date Rape Dave". He lives with two of his ex-wives - sisters Barbara and Catherine - in an effort to keep family together, namely his two daughters, Helen and Margaret, who each have a different sister as their mother. Dave still maintains a sexual relationship with both sisters - whenever the mood suits any of them - while he openly has other sexual relationships. His life is put under a microscope after he is caught on video brutally beating a person with who he got into an automobile crash. This situation is ...Written by
Dave Brown tells Kyle, who tailed him to a shrimp shack, that "all the Founding Fathers owned slaves." Not True. Second U.S. President John Adams owned a farm, but never owned slaves. See more »
[to Kyle Timkins]
Bear in mind that I am not a racist. Fact is, I hate all people equally. And if it helps, I've slept with some of your people. You wanna be mad at someone, try J. Edgar Hoover. He was a racist. Or the Founding Fathers, all slave-owners.
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Woody Harrelson gives a tour de force performance playing David Brown, one of the last dirty cops still working for the LAPA in 1999. He's a dirty cop who doesn't seem to realize he is one. He was once married to two different women, sisters, and now he tries to keep them and their kids in the same house so that they can live the way a "family" is supposed to yet he doesn't realize that a good family life isn't by having kids with two sisters. Brown finally gets in over his head when he's filmed beating a man and this sets off a range of events that leave him spinning out of control. RAMPART, written by James Ellroy and director Oren Moverman, doesn't tell a straight crime story but instead it really looks at a bad man and tries to explain why he's bad. I think the bottom line is that the film is simply trying to say that there are bad people out there who are just bad all the way around and it doesn't have to be for lust, money or fame. While I do question some of the directorial choices and I think a little more focus would have helped, the main reason to check this film out is for the wonderful performances from the all-star cast. Sigourney Weaver plays a DA tired of a cop thinking he can get away with anything. Cynthia Nixon and Anne Heche are good as the ex-wives. You have Robin Wright turning in a very effective performance as a mysterious woman who enters the cops life. Ice Cube is effective in his few scenes as is Ben Foster playing a crippled vet. We even get Steve Buscemi and Ned Beatty in small but effective roles. Of course, the entire cast centers around the performance of Harrelson and this is certainly yet more proof that when given the right material he can be one of the most raw and effective actors out there. Harrelson is so effective no matter if he's just listening or speaking because you can just look at him and see all the rage and emotion built up. I really thought the actor did a remarkable job at letting the slime slip out of this character without making him a flat out creep or going so over-the-top where you feel like you're watching someone fake. I won't spoil the ending but it's certainly one that makes you think about the events you've just seen. RAMPART isn't a flawless movie but the performances are so strong that it's highly recommended.
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