Cop Target (1990)

The single greatest movie character ever invented? The cop on the edge! He’s the guy who plays by his own rules, is often times on suspension, and frequently gets cussed out by his superior for “violating” some obscure “right” that’s been conferred on the criminal scum of this nation by a liberal activist judge. We know their names like our family’s names. Dirty Harry, John McClane, Mel Gibson, those two black guys in the Bad Boys movies, and Farley Wood.

Each of these guys had their own defining moment. Dirty Harry actually had about fifty of them, but you can’t beat the scene where he’s torturing Scorpio on a football field. John McClane’s was obviously the yippee-kay-ai line while we all knew what Mel was talking about when he told his partner, “I’m not a cop tonight, Rog!” The Bad Boys pretty much destroyed Cuba in their second movie which was something that needed doing for a long time. And Farley Wood has his automatic cat feeding machine.

Farley’s automatic cat feeding machine is a giant mechanical gizmo with lights and accompanying sounds that dispenses food out of one slot and fills a water bowl out of a second slot.

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He explains that a friend of his built it for him, presumably so that his cat, Arthur, wouldn’t have to starve while Farley was being dispatched on missions to fictional countries like San Cristobal. Just because you’re a cop on the edge doesn’t mean you still don’t worry about your pets!

But what exactly is it that causes tough, sleepy-eyed, slightly marble-mouthed, Miami cop Farley to hit the crooked nation of San Cristobal only to become…Cop Target?

Some snotty broad and her daughter are headed down there to accept an award for her late husband’s work in fighting a drug cartel and Farley has to protect her. Farley’s already had a rough day, breaking up a domestic squabble between a transvestite and his pimp and to make matters even worse, he has tickets to the Dolphins game!

Things get off to a piss poor start when Farley keeps the old hag waiting because Farley got himself involved in a convenience store hold up and had to go and shoot a couple of dirtbags.

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Then, once in San Cristobal, Farley gets in even deeper doo-doo when the guy from the embassy shows up to greet the woman and it’s none other than legendary character actor Charles Napier! (Napier’s evil embassy character previously appeared in The Last Match so we know that the doublecross clock has officially starting ticking!)

Farley and the woman don’t get along, but the snoozing you’ll be doing during all the glaring and glowering between them is interrupted when the drug cartel storms the beach like some zero budget D-Day operation and kidnaps her little girl!

Farley does his best by shooting people and even gets shot himself, but the woman blames him for allowing her daughter to be seized which only serves to give us notice that we can expect lots more scenes of these two toasting glasses of Hateraid to one another.

Not much of interest happens the rest of the movie. Several intense, and by intense, I mean intensely boring, scenes of Farley cleaning a gun he found in the sand, of Farley taking bugs out of the woman’s phone, and of Farley and the woman making out ensue.

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Director Umberto Lenzi (Hitcher In The Dark, Black Demons) acts like he suddenly realizes he was saddled with a script where the pages with all the cool stuff in it were missing and inserts a shoot out in a restaurant and a car chase into things for no real reason. And as you no doubt expected, there is also an exploding helicopter.

But wait! Can Lenzi somehow build on the exploding helicopter gambit and push, pull, and drag this movie into the win column? Well, at the airport two guys from the embassy tell Farley he’s under arrest and start reading him his rights!

What does Farley do? He ignores them and gets on his plane back to Miami! And then guys with walkie-talkies tell each other that the condor has landed which leads to a car bomb going off!

And then when Farley gets back to Miami, his boss is there and drops the shock ending on him! He tells Farley that his cat had an ulcer and the automatic cat feeding machine went tilt! Oh, the humanity! The pathos! The vet bills! I swear, sometimes I think Lenzi is just toying with us!

© 2014 MonsterHunter

One thought on “Cop Target (1990)

  1. I know this is an old article but I just came across it and I need to get my thoughts out.

    I’m a huge Robert Ginty fan. And this is my favorite movie of his. Why? I don’t know. I just like it.
    Latter day Italian crime and action movies weren’t as big as they were in the 60s and 70s. I’ve always had a soft spot for them. Instead of them being filmed on location in New York or San Francisco, they were filmed in Central America or the Philippines substituting as a fictional place for budget purposes.

    Back to the movie… Ginty made a career starring in third rate Z-Grade overseas actioners which many would deem as unwatchable. But he had a unique screen presence that made them worth while. It’s like every movie Ginty stars in is doomed to suck. Apparently, Umberto Lenzi and Ginty did not see eye-to-eye and it’s painfully obvious. I can’t help but feel sorry for Ginty and his character. He’s not assigned the case because he’s the only man for the job…he’s assigned because everyone else was busy. Much to his disappointment too – he can’t attend that Dolphins game!!

    He comes off as the most relatable cop as he just wants to do his job and go home to spend his free time enjoying himself. Then he’s given an assignment where everyone shits all over him for no reason. For example: when he asks the Napier character for help with an invitation, Napier sneers and says “You’re not dressed for the occasion” and Ginty sheepishly replies “okay…” and the next scene is of Ginty walking around with his hands in his pockets with sad music playing. And early in the film, after the little girl gets kidnapped by a small army, Ginty is yelled at for failing to protect her. The only character who had any empathy for poor Farley was the little girl. And at the end, Ginty saves the woman and her daughter from being kidnapped (and possibly killed) and the woman berates him for firing his gun!! Ginty returns home only to find out his cat needs surgery. Poor Farley. He can’t catch a break.

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