Back in the day, Michael Keaton managed to fit this little flick in between Batman movies. One Good Cop isn't quite the big blockbuster you'd expect the man, The Bat-man, to take on but cop movies were in vogue so why not?
The film sees Keaton and Anthony LaPaglia as NYPD cops, the former is married (to Rene Russo, typecast as a cop's wife in EVERYTHING back in the day), the latter is father to three kids, they follow various cases which always end up getting pretty messy. One day, Keaton's partner gets killed recklessly and he is left trying to deal with the best way to give his kids a new home. One Good Cop isn't so much a cop movie as it is a rough-edged melodrama with cops in it. A lot of emphasis is put on literally every character around Keaton so it's hard to pin his down, which means that when he finally does something completely out of character it's pretty jarring. The film's trying to tell this emotional story of a cop, a good guy with his heart in the right place, under a lot of pressure, but also wants some good old-fashioned French Connection-style bloody punch-outs and gun-fights in there. Problem is: the melodramatic stuff is cheesy as hell. I mean, the whole thing is super-cliched and had Keaton not starred in it I could have easily seen it go straight to video and it's unlikely I would have ever even known about it!
It's like the movie wants to have fun and go all-out like Pulp Fiction or True Romance but instead focuses on what it thinks is dramatically fascinating but is in fact quite pedestrian. That said, Keaton is likeable enough that by the third act you do end up giving a crap about these characters. The violence in the flick is pretty awesome, I must admit, I just wish the whole film had been like that! It opens with Keaton and LaPaglia beating the shit out of 3 guys in an elevator and you expect more nutty stuff like that to keep happening but instead... sorry: Rene Russo wants children. A lot of One Good Cop isn't convincing, seemingly normal people just go out and do things you wouldn't really see them do but as a pure, cliched cop movie it just about works.
This isn't necessary viewing, by any stretch of the imagination, but if you're a fan of Michael Keaton's you could do a lot worse. One Good Cop is a throwaway, somewhat forgettable outing but it is involving enough to keep you interested throughout, plus the rougher moments in it are completely enjoyable.
A solid watch but an uneven one.