Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Heavyweight Actors Reside in Stallone's `Cop Land'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Heavyweight Actors Reside in Stallone's `Cop Land'

Article excerpt

The 40 pounds Sylvester Stallone gained for Cop Land gather

heavily around his neck, his behind and his gut, transforming

him from an oiled, monosyllabic machine into the nobody that

Rocky Balboa would have become had he stiffed in that big fight.

It's part of Stallone's effort to distance himself from the

bombs of his recent past, Judge Dredd and Daylight among them,

and establish himself as a real actor again, a la Bruce Willis

in Pulp Fiction.

Cop Land, opening today, is quite a departure from his usual

movies, in that it has a complex plot and dialogue and not a

single computer-generated special effect.

And it's quite a different role for Stallone, who worked for

minimum scale instead of his usual $20 million. Here he's a bum,

an ineffectual lawman, paunchy and half-deaf, a none-too-bright

New Jersey guy who plays sad Springsteen songs on an antiquated

record player.

It works.

Stallone's range is limited -- he's never going to lose that

slur, after all. But he holds his own here against such

bristling, wired thespians as Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Ray

Liotta and Michael Rapaport, just part of the frankly amazing

supporting cast assembled for Cop Land.

That's saying something.

But the fat, shambling Stallone, as good as he is, shouldn't

distract us from the other pleasures of Cop Land: A pleasingly

convoluted plot, crisp acting and just enough pulp appeal to

jazz it all up.

Stallone is Freddy Heflin, the sheriff of aptly named Garrison,

N.J. -- a.k.a. Cop Land. It's a suburban home for hardened New

York cops who, through some shady maneuverings, have moved en

masse across the river to their own little fiefdom.

Freddy's the sheriff in name only. Hampered by a dull intellect

and a deaf ear, he's a wannabe New York cop left to stare

wistfully at the city's skyscrapers while he rescues cats and

solves garbage disputes in Garrison. …

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