Reimagining A Cop Movie

A Cop Movie. (Netflix) Ruizpalacios goes beyond the ‘defund’ and ‘reform’ clichés and examines his social conscience.

Alonso Ruizpalacios continues searching out narrative possibilities in A Cop Movie. As one of the innovative Mexican directors, along with Julián Hernández (Broken Sky) and Sergio Tovar Velarde (4 Moons), whom mainstream Hollywood has not embraced, Ruizpalacios demonstrates what conscientious filmmaking should be.

In A Cop Movie, Ruizpalacios explores the public and private risks taken by two Mexico City police, Teresa and Montoya, who are also a couple, nicknamed The Love Patrol. Their shared career ambitions and job ambivalence are revealed in a blend of documentary and fiction that is at first puzzling — the realistic POV is smoothly stylized, and cinematographer Emiliano Villanueva’s warm colors indicate careful, strategized composition. Yet Teresa’s one-person, on-foot investigation of a domestic disturbance teeters between mundane and threatening.

Our bafflement comes from figuring out whether this is another glamorization of urban chaos or something authentic. It’s a challenge to the dramatic conventions of TV crime shows and movie decadence.

A Cop Movie responds to the social moment, examining contemporary issues without resorting to “reform” and “defund” clichés.

Betwixt and between fashionable skepticism

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