Bad Cop: ‘McCanick’ Features Cory Monteith in His Last Film Role

David Morse as a worn-out Philadelphia cop named McCanick.

David Morse as a worn-out Philadelphia cop named McCanick.

The only reason to suffer through a grim wack job called McCanick is to see the late Cory Monteith in his last film role. Because of his popularity on the TV series Glee and the untimely nature of his tragic death from a drug overdose last summer at age 31, the focus of curiosity may be on Mr. Monteith, but he’s not the star. The movie is really about the lonely, unrewarding dead-end life of an aging, worn-out Philadelphia cop named McCanick, played by David Morse, a fine actor who should return to the New York stage immediately and restore some of his reputation before everyone forgets who he is.


McCanick ★
(1/4 stars)

Written by: Daniel Noah
Directed by:
Josh C. Waller
Starring: Rachel Nichols, Mike Vogel and Cory Monteith
Running time: 96 min.


Mr. Monteith plays Simon Weeks, a small-time drug dealer and male prostitute whom McCanick framed and sent to prison seven years earlier for personal reasons. Now he’s out on parole and trying to jump-start his life, but tortured detective McCanick ignores all orders from his boss (a wasted Ciarán Hinds) to leave the man alone and recklessly pursues him for private motives, jeopardizing an undercover scheme that could put himself, his partner and the chief of police in the slammer doing time with 10,000 reprobates they once put away, all waiting for revenge behind bars.

Never mind police procedure. In one of the most unintentionally hilarious climaxes ever filmed, McCanick stalks his prey, tracks him, beats his face to a pulp, corners him in a warehouse, kisses him passionately and jumps him to make love. McCanick is the biggest lunatic in the cracker barrel. You don’t know until the final disastrous scene how dark McCanick’s libido really is. It takes place mostly in flashbacks, but it concentrates on two confusing time frames, seven years apart, and the only way you can tell what year it is depends on the length of Mr. Monteith’s hair—long and greasy when he’s a criminal, short and preppy when he goes straight.

Nowhere is there any evidence of the charm, versatility and musical show-biz pizazz that made him such a teenage lure on Glee. Mr. Morse has made so many impressive contributions to movies such as The Green Mile and The Hurt Locker, in addition to winning raves for his role as a child molester in the New York stage production of How I Learned To Drive, that you wonder how he landed in such a disaster. (Alas, he co-produced it with the film’s no-talent director.) Trust me when I tell you there isn’t a minute of this recycled tripe that makes one shred of common sense.

McCanick is so badly written by Daniel Noah, and directed by Josh Waller with such consistent nincompoopery, that it fails as both an overworked retread in the action thriller genre and as a character study of a mentally ill cop, inviting laughter in all the wrong places. The dialogue reeks of the kind of clichéd filth we’ve heard before in hundreds of better cop movies than this one. Poor Cory Monteith. What a sad way to end a promising career.