In the Line of Duty review – race-against-time cop thriller

In the Line of Duty review – race-against-time cop thriller. Troubled detective Aaron Eckhart is forced to team up with a young citizen journalist in this run-of-the-mill action spectacle

There’s a straight-to-video feel to this cop thriller, directed by action veteran Steven C Miller, written by Jeremy Drysdale (who scripted the indie hit Grand Theft Parsons) and starring its exec producer, Aaron Eckhart.

He plays Detective Frank Penny, a troubled but decent police officer with a reputation for shooting first and asking questions later. He accidentally ruins an anti-kidnap operation by killing the kidnapper who was about to pick up the ransom money in a public square, and now it’s a race against time to find out where the hostage is being held before she dies. And this tough, old-school cop finds himself having to tolerate a young citizen journalist, Ava Brooks (Courtney Eaton), who tags along, live streaming the whole thing on her phone, thus putting in place the ingredients for an odd-couple situation with both people involved learning to respect and like each other.

I have to admit there is a good chase sequence at the beginning, with Penny on the run as his culprit sprints away through the city, bashing into everything but a cart piled high with oranges. However, from there on, it becomes a pretty much generic and almost plotless action spectacle, with people forever being thrown on to car windshields that duly splinter, squad cars pirouetting through the air, and an old-fashioned, hanging-off-a-helicopter routine – although the Mission: Impossible franchise makes all this look bargain-basement.

It’s amiable, but the real action thrills and the chemistry between the leads isn’t there.

• In the Line of Duty is released in the UK on 3 January.