Movies about brave boys (and girls) in blue seem to have one thing in common: straight-up awful police work. The history of terrible cops in cinema is not a short one: how many times has Rookie Red Shirt been unable to keep even one eye on the killer handcuffed next to him? If Retiring Officer Rotund could run up three steps without getting winded, his police drama would have been gone in 60 seconds. There's certainly no shortage of movie cops who are really bad at their jobs.
Who qualifies as the worst movie cops? Well, Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) makes some pretty amateur mistakes in Point Break, but, hey, they serve the plot, so who's counting? Basic Instinct, for all the cleverness of the plot, social satire, and oo-la-la sexy moments, has some awful movie police work. Whether it be a result of deus ex machina, poor character work, or scenes that were left on the cutting room floor, the cops on this list need to be put on leave stat, pending a review of their snafus. Because there's not enough suspension of disbelief in the universe to justify the following shoddy police work.
- Photo: Warner Bros
Yes, it's the story of a depressed billionaire who dresses as a bat, so expectations for the quality of police work should be tempered. But, since Christopher Nolan elevated the comic genre with his remarkable Dark Knight trilogy, grounding the films in all-too-realistic Pittsburgh, the police must be held accountable. Lest you forget, Nolan also directed Insomnia, a thriller about cops. He must be brought to task.
So what goes wrong in The Dark Knight Rises? Well, the entire police force gets trapped underground, except for Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and Foley (Vision Quest star Matthew Modine). Not a well conceived plan. There really wasn't a single person on the Gotham police force who could've said, "Hey, guys? Maybe we should leave, like, at least maybe a dozen guys above ground, just in case Bane is tricking us or lying?"
Meanwhile, Bane is in the football stadium when he blows it. Guys. Seriously. WTF. You suck.6710Agree or disagree?
- Photo: Universal
Ironically, Detective John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a much gentler kindergarten teacher than what many of you probably experienced. His work as an educator is well above average. However, at the center of this equal parts charming and violent family comedy is the darkest premise in the history of cinema. "Let's use a class full of adorable five year olds as human bait for a drug-pushing murderer. And we'll throw in a ferret for some laughs."
Ferrets are creepy. And that's horrible, horrible police work. Plus why is John Kimble Austrian? Has anyone ever bothered explaining that?529Agree or disagree?
- 3Photo: Columbia/Orion
Ignoring the artistry and technical craft of 99 percent of Silence of the Lambs, have a look at the moment piss-poor police work ensured Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) wouldn't miss seeing an old friend for dinner. Late in the film, Lecter is moved to a government building, where he inhabits a solitary cell is in the middle of a massive, well-guarded, otherwise empty room.
Yet, for some reason, when he's brought his meals, which requires opening his cell, there are apparently only two cops in the entire building, and once he overwhelms them, he's free to walk away. There's no back-up guard at the door, no surveillance system such as cameras, no security guarding wondering who the man in the prisoner outfit with blood all over his face stalking the halls might be.425Agree or disagree?
- Photo: 20th Century Fox
Moments after a bloody bank heist, surfer messiah Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) discovers new bestie Johnny Utah is an undercover FBI AGENT, and Utah knows he knows. What does Johnny do next? Go into hiding? Witness protection? Hole up in the police station? Step in a time-traveling phone booth? Nah. He returns to his girlfriend’s apartment. Since Bodhi would never look there. By the by, in case you forgot, Johnny's gf is Bodhi's ex, so, like, come on, dude.
When J-Ute is inevitably kidnapped by Bodhi and his luxurious hair, it's kinda like, um, “duh.” And this is hardly Utah's first snafu. Remember when he assumed a group of Nazi surfers were the Dead Presidents bank robbers, even though the Nazis are a bunch of hapless fools, not a group of professional, well-organized criminals? And then an FBI raid on the Nazi's house screwed up a DEA investigation. Bro. Come. On.
Note: Agent Utah redeems himself at the film's end, by letting Bodhi ride one last great wave instead of arresting him for murdering Agent Pappas (Gary Busey). When Utah finally throws his badge down in the sand, all of us can breathe a sigh of relief.367Agree or disagree?