We have all seen the effects of Kevin Smith’s bomb Jersey Girl and his decision to never do that again. It was then followed by well received films such as Clerks II and Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which were written and directed by Smith. This appears to be a problem with Mr. Smith’s newest flick Cop Out, originally titled A Couple of Dick’s. This new buddy cop movie was unfortunately not written by Kevin Smith and rather by the writing duo of Rob and Mark Cullen (with no major film credits). I’m sure these brothers are immensely talented, however I’m afraid that it wasn’t displayed here.
If you are anything like me and the majority of my friends you will agree that the trailer did not do much for this film. In fact, I have been following this film since it was green lit and was excited to see the final product but was shocked when I saw the first trailer with the renamed title of Cop Out. Unless you find Tracy Morgan terribly funny in the trailer, don’t get your hopes up for the rest of the film. The completely obvious improvisation doesn’t end in the trailer as it follows throughout the entire film with awful comedic timing, over-the-top acting, and extremely stereotypical situations and scenarios.
Okay, we get it… Kevin Smith and the rest of the producers thought it would be funny to have a cop played by a top-notch actor whose partner is exact opposite and outlandish while throwing in some other very comedic actors like Seann William Scott. Then they could put the actors in ridiculous situations and see how they would all react and play off one another allowing hilarity to ensue. Well I’m sorry fellow moviegoers because Cop Out is JUST that. We get nothing we haven’t seen before along with some not-so-funny lines and improvisations that feel forced and staged.
Cop Out is simply a throwback to classic buddy cop movies that any normal director could have done just fine. However, Kevin Smith directed this and the audience will come to expect that skewed and filthy style of his. This one, eh, not so much. It has a little more cursing than say Robert DeNiro and Eddie Murphy’s Showtime, but I doubt you’ll be leaving the theater thinking you just saw a Kevin Smith film.
Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan play Brooklyn-based NYPD detectives Jimmy Monroe and Paul Hodges who have been partners for awhile, but Jimmy remains loyal to his silly partner and friend Paul. Jimmy however has had a difficult past with an ex-wife who has remarried and is clearly more apart of his daughter’s life nowadays. In an attempt to not allow his ex’s husband to pay for his daughter’s wedding making Jimmy appear as a failure, Jimmy decides to sell his supremely rare baseball card worth thousands in order to pay for the wedding. Of course in doing so Jimmy becomes involved in a robbery where his card is stolen by a strange thief who happens to be Seann William Scott. In order to retrieve his card, Jimmy with the help of crazy Tracy Morgan must cross paths with a dangerous gang leader named Poh Boy, played by Guillermo Diaz (“Weeds”), who is involved in major drug trafficking.
The movie basically turns into just another flick where the protagonists must find what they need to solve all their problems. By this it may sound like a decent entertaining silly movie, but there are so many flaws within this film. You never really felt a true connection between Willis or Morgan as they never have a true fight or a recognition of how much one another really means to one another. This is actually much different in many other Kevin Smith films. The comedy as said before isn’t that funny and kind of just awkward. Much of the improv between the characters is painfully obvious and kind of annoying. I’ll give some props to Seann William Scott with some good timing and delivering a little different character style to his verbiage. Some of the other actors like bully detectives played by Adam Brody and Kevin Pollak along with Jimmy’s ex’s husband Roy played by Jason Lee do a fine job. They do a great job showcasing their characters and making them believable whereas Willis and Morgan almost appear ‘cartoony’.
Even with a great cast and some excellent people working on this film, Cop Out falls short fast. In fact, it falls dead 20 minutes in when you realize this movie won’t be getting any better. It flows, but overall it just feels cheap and quick to the point. Why was this made? I don’t see what was trying to be told or the type of story wanted. It doesn’t have the character bonding like Smith’s past films or the creativity that lead many to love his others. Cop Out doesn’t even have the raunchy filthiness to create the unexpected. I’m going to stay clear from all the easy Cop Out puns as they are too easy. I do understand that this was something Kevin Smith really wanted to make, but even after the production notes, I don’t see what really drew him in. I look forward to his next film, but will probably skip his next if it looks just as lame as Cop Out’s trailers.