Throughout the last several decades, there have been all sorts of movies about corrupt, amoral or violent cops. Usually, these movies are thrillers, or gritty urban action films (like Training Day), or morality tales in which the good cop takes down the bad ones (like Serpico.) Even comedies about less-than-great cops (like the Ferrell/Wahlberg comedy The Other Guys) are more about the cops being idiots than corrupt, and end up with the protagonists redeeming themselves.
The upcoming film War on Everyone, though, is something altogether different: A buddy cop film about a couple of terrible, violent police officers that looks like it’s being played as breezy comedy. The film, directed by John Michael McDonagh of The Guard and Calvary fame, stars Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña as a pair of corrupt-to-the-core police officers in Albuquerque, N.M. who, when they’re not beating people up, are stealing from them. Following a trailer earlier this summer, we have our latest look at the film.
In the new U.K. trailer for War on Everyone (see above), we see the two cops punching people, kicking down doors, contemplating running over a mime with their car, and openly soliciting bribes — and that's just in those two minutes that we see.
The film appears to show these reprobate cops working a case against some robbers (led by Theo James), so it’s a plot familiar to anyone who’s seen The Shield; the amoral cops hear about a robbery by some criminals and set a plan in motion to steal the money for themselves. It’s probably a safe bet that things don’t turn out quite as planned, of course.
War on Everyone looks funny and creative, but risky as well. Assuming its tone is consistent with the trailer, the film will have to strike a delicate balance between comedy and some dark material related to police violence and corruption. Then again, it’s McDonagh returning to the territory of his much-acclaimed The Guard, with two strong leading men, plus Creed’s great Tessa Thompson and Paul Reiser as the cops’ boss. And don’t forget the Albuquerque locations that any Breaking Bad fan could tell you are ideal for morally weighty crime stories.
War on Everyone opens in UK theaters on September 30th, 2016. We’ll let you know when a U.S. release date is announced.