'Wrong Cops' review: Odd is the new normal

'Wrong Cops'

'Wrong Cops' (December 26, 2013)

**1/2 (out of four)

It almost goes without saying that a movie featuring Eric Wareheim (of "Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!"), Jon LaJoie (of "The League") and Marilyn Manson (of Marilyn Manson) possesses a bent worldview.

It's standard stuff, though, from writer-director Quentin Dupieux's ("Rubber," "Wrong"), to whom random meaningless and inexplicable behavior comes naturally. In "Wrong Cops," whose plot doesn't deserve the compliment of being called a plot, useless cop Duke (Mark Burnham) sells drugs which he delivers stuffed in dead rats, making the product easier to carry and more discrete. Officer Renato (Wareheim) humps a woman's (Agnes Bruckner) car and then makes even less professional (and less effective) use of his power. Renato's partner Shirley (Arden Myrin) declines to ask many questions to a man who finds his neighbor dead of a self-inflicted gunshot. Instead she looks in the fridge and asks, "How long has that mozzarella been in there?"

By now, you should know if this is your taste or not. The movie, not stale cheese.

Last year's "Wrong" found Dupieux expanding from the one-joke, killer-tire comedy "Rubber," but "Wrong Cops," this weekend's midnight movie offering at Music Box, only spins its wheels, moving from one strange scenario to another like a quieter "Reno 911!." Dupieux's refined his sense of humor to the point that the jokes don't necessarily need outrageous visual enhancements, a blessing since the occasionally hilarious "Wrong Cops" looks like it cost about $40 to make. "It's horrible for him," Duke notes when persuading a colleague to kill someone. "It's not horrible for you."

The filmmaker still isn't there in terms of making an actual, complete movie, but for the right/wrong sensibility, there's reason to enjoy his weird attempts at stripping the ordinary from the everyday. 

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mpais@tribune.com

 

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