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Review: Little is arresting about ‘Wrong Cops’

‘Wrong Cops’
Ray Wise in the film “Wrong Cops.”
(Quentin Dupieux)

French director Quentin Dupieux’s brand of deadpan absurdism, effectively displayed in “Rubber” and “Wrong,” hits a stale patch with “Wrong Cops.” Pitched somewhere between a DIY alt-humor video and a knockabout comedy, this meandering lark about a corrupt, spiteful and hopelessly distracted police force in a decriminalized, sun-scorched city never quite finds the funny bone.

Considering Dupieux’s temperament, it’s got plenty of unforced weirdness, however, even beyond the casting of Marilyn Manson as a hapless teen. Duke (Mark Burnham, reviving a bit part from “Wrong”) is the dirty cop trafficking weed inside dead rats, while De Luca (Eric Wareheim of gonzo comedy duo Tim & Eric) uses his badge to coerce girls into flashing their breasts.

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After shooting his neighbor, Duke hands off the dying body to a fellow officer (Steve Little), whose gay porn past sparks a blackmail scheme from another disaffected cop (Arden Myrin). Director Dupieux, an electronic musician who created the ‘80s-style Tangerine Dream-ish score under his pseudonym Mr. Oizo, also pokes fun at that other calling with synthesizer-noodling, eyepatch-sporting Officer Rough (Eric Judor), who harbors electronic dance music career aspirations.

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In the funniest scene, a music producer (Kurt Fuller) figures Rough’s cop uniform to be a cagey marketing ploy. That’s “Wrong Cops” in a nutshell, really — ridiculousness as costume, little more.

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