Review: 'Cop Out'

Review: ‘Cop Out’

“A woman cannot subsist on quality films alone”–Shannon Hood

Let me explain with a food analogy, if I may. For the most part, I am a food Nazi. I try to eat really well, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, watch my fat and sugar intake, and every once in a while I find myself in the McDonald’s drive through That quarter-pounder with cheese is damn delicious when I eat it.

Afterward, I usually feel guilty. I know that it is not good for me.  I know it lacks nutritional value, and really is not a quality offering, but I have to admit that I had a good time consuming it.

Such is the case with Cop Out, the first feature film that has been directed, but not written, by Kevin Smith. There is no way I can possibly sit here and tell you this is a good movie.  It is not, by any stretch of the imagination. It is really, really stupid. But I laughed.  A lot.  *hangs head in shame*

Let’s face facts. If you happened upon the trailer for this a few months ago, and after viewing it, you circled February 26 on your calendar and thought to yourself  “I cannot WAIT to see that,”  then you will not be disappointed. What you see is what you get. You don’t need my advice here. This is pure cinematic junk food, which may or may not be what you are craving.

Tracy Morgan plays the EXACT same character that he does on 30 Rock, only as a cop.  If he makes your skin crawl on that show, seriously, don’t bother seeing this. You will hate it.

Morgan plays Paul, a bumbling idiot who blathers on about unimportant stuff all the while oblivious to a multitude of dangers happening right under his nose. He could easily pass for a lunatic who escaped the asylum and is masquerading as a cop. Of course he has a good heart, so his partner Jimmy (a perpetually bemused Bruce Willis) puts up with all his nonsense, and even seems to have a soft spot for the mentally challenged man.

Jimmy’s manhood has been threatened by the cocky man who is now married to his ex-wife. He nonchalantly offers to pick up the $50,000 tab for Jimmy’s daughter’s upcoming wedding.

Naturally, this leads to typical male  posturing, and Jimmy  insists that HE can pay for the wedding. Conveniently, he is in possession of a rare mint condition baseball card.  He arranges for a broker to sell the card, but while he is in the memorabilia shop, the shop is held up, and the card is stolen.

While trying to track down the card, Paul and Jimmy encounter a dangerous Mexican gang, stolen cars, a kidnapped woman, and a host of other random things. It’s all very generic.

I couldn’t really tell if the movie is trying to pay homage to cop buddy movies of the eighties, or if it is trying to be a parody of them. I kind of like to believe that it is an intentional parody, because there were too many winks to the camera, and the movie seems fully self aware. There are also an awful lot of “cop movie” references.  Paul and Jimmy “act” when they interrogate suspects, and Paul pulls out every single cop movie cliche imaginable during these interrogations, without a hint of irony. I found it pretty funny.

Seann William Scott offers some of the best moments of the film as a completely unhinged criminal. Yes it is stupid when he copies everything somebody says trying to get a rise out of them, but it is funny. He has some great chemistry with Willis and Morgan, and the scenes in which the three share the screen were my favorites. Adam Brody and Kevin Pollack are also very amusing as an inept pair of administrative type cops who occasionally show up to admonish Jimmy and Paul.

Kevin Smith’s fingerprints are all over this film, and I have to think he tinkered with the script a little.  It is raunchy, and has that  irreverence that we have come to expect  from a Smith film, it just isn’t consistent or even-handed.  The “action” scenes are utterly forgettable.

However,  Cop Out is innocuous and at times funny, if you are in the mood for a little junk. Who isn’t from time to time?