Police Thriller McCanick Has Plenty of Dirty Cop Cliches


Not a single mechanic appears in the police thriller McCanick, which borrows from its dirty-nailed, homonymous hero an ethos of brusque masculinity.

The word “mechanic” does flicker briefly in director Josh C. Waller’s film, though. It’s the one instance of humor in an otherwise numbingly inert series of dirty-cop clichés that abruptly builds to an ephemerally poignant climax.

Among Glee fans, though, McCanick is more noteworthy for being the last production Cory Monteith worked on before his sudden death in 2013. Monteith plays a gay hustler named Simon who’s seen mostly in flashbacks.

Against his boss’s orders, grizzly McCanick (David Morse) searches for the young man, now newly released from prison, by busting into the dens of drug dealers whose connections to Simon the script (from writer Daniel Noah) never makes clear. It’s not long before McCanick’s bullets find their way into random baddies and even his naïve partner (Mike Vogel). McCanick turns 59 on the single day the film takes place, which means that while he trails Simon, death trails the old-timer.

He’s a golem of a protagonist: large, powerful, asexual, lumpy-featured, vengeful, devoid of thought. He only comes to life when he’s face-to-face with Simon and his motivation for chasing after the younger man is finally and heartbreakingly revealed.

It’s McCanick‘s one real moment — and not coincidentally, the only scene where Morse and Monteith get to act like humans, or at least something more than bodies trapped in a perpetual motion machine of punches and pursuit.