If you could see me as I’m writing this review for Cop Out you’d see that I’m laughing my ass off. Not because the latest incompatible cop buddy movie which pairs Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan together is funny — oh no my friend — I’m laughing because this film is so far from funny that one simply has to laugh to stop from crying.
The reasons for this catastrophe are too many to list but here is a brief outline:
- Number One: It stars Tracy Morgan. To this day I’m still trying to understand how and why people think he is funny. The fact that his character, Paul Hodges, tries to be witty makes the lack of Morgan’s delivery and finesse all the more glaring.
- Number Two: Cop Out tries so fucking hard to be comidically edgy and relevant that it is obvious. This comes as a bit of a surprise since director Kevin Smith is a prince at putting out filth and making it natural and oft times hilarious (if you haven’t seen Clerks or even Clerks II, watch ’em to understand what I mean).
- Number Three: The misused Beverly Hills Cop-like soundtrack. I guess it was meant to pay some sort of homage to the classic but why remind everyone a superior cop buddy movie exists?
- Number Four: Seann William Scott. Well, actually his scenes are some of the more digestible, but his character is such a near carbon copy of Joe Pesci’s in Lethal Weapon 2 that I was left wondering if there was anything original about this flick.
And onto the originality of Cop Out. There isn’t any. Two mismatched NYPD officers, Jimmy Monroe (Bruce Willis) and Paul Hodges (Morgan), mess up, get in trouble and at the end save the day. What I suppose could be called original on some plane of existence is the how — I seem to recall a baseball card being stolen from Jimmy and his having to do everything imaginable to get it back so he can pay for his daughter’s wedding which, all things being circular in nature, leads him and his partner back to the Mexican drug smugglers, of whom they’re botched investigation of started this merry-go-round going around. I have no idea if that run on sentence made any sense or not, although I’m relatively sure you’ll enjoy trying to decipher it more than actually going to the movie.
You’ll notice I made a concerted effort to limit my mentioning of Bruce Willis (even though he is just as much at fault as everyone else). I consider it a “get out of jail free card” since, for the most part, I like what he’s done with his career (and I especially like his ex-wife). I can’t for the life of me figure out what could have compelled him to take this project on; even on paper, this Robb and Mark Cullen screenplay couldn’t have looked good. If you owe someone something Bruce, just pay them off — too many stinkers like this will tarnish your record.
Anyways, I was going to end this review with a clever play on words with the film’s ripe for the picking title Cop Out. Then I realized I disliked it so much it didn’t deserve any more of my precious time. Watch any of the aforementioned movies in this review for a better viewing experience. Oh yeah, throw 48 Hrs. into the mix of must see cop buddy movies too.