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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Buddy cop film far from arresting

    Kevin Smith

    Cop Out

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    Released Feb. 26, 2010

    Grade: D

    It took Kevin Smith 18 years to choose a film he wanted to direct that he had not also written. Why the hell did he pick “”Cop Out””? Why did anyone sign onto this?

    There is simply nothing endearing about the script. The first scene is completely made up of Tracy Morgan’s character quoting movies, with Bruce Willis’ character telling the audience exactly what movie each reference is from. It’s almost as condescending as it is lazy. From there, the script plunges into poop jokes, an endless slew of supporting characters and constant use of similes. I felt like I was watching a Will Ferrell movie without his absurdist non sequiturs.

    The movie is way too long. There’s a 25-minute subplot about Morgan’s wife cheating on him. While it does present the audience with the gorgeous Rashida Jones in lingerie, it’s pointless — the subplot, that is. Rashida Jones in lingerie always has a point.

    Instead of skewering the genre, “”Cop Out”” is everything that killed the ‘80s cop film. The script’s worst sin is believing that it is a smart homage to ‘80s buddy cop action-comedies. That movie was called “”Hot Fuzz.”” The script by Robb and Mark Cullen is too stupid to know the difference between homage and a genre piece. Yet the script demands that Morgan’s character say “”homage”” 20-plus times so we understand the film’s objective.

    As for Smith, he should never be let near an action film again. There’s a reason he spent the last two decades in the malls and convenience stores of America, filming tight character pieces. His action pieces are horribly sluggish, with no regard for pacing or tone. A foot chase early in the movie caroms from gratuitous violence to tongue-in-cheek one-liners to YouTube references to perhaps the most uninvolving standoff in film history, with no apparent editing. I’m not sure how much weed Smith smokes these days, but it’s got to be measured by the brick.

    Willis and Morgan do their best to keep the film afloat, but neither is given anything decent to work with. The only real bright spots in the film are Adam Brody and Kevin Pollak, who actually understand what an homage is. They play a duo of old-school cops who embody the sort of homoerotic sycophancy associated with ‘80s cop movies. There’s a great running gag between them involving Pollak’s penchant for reptile skin boots and Brody’s desire to get some wild boots. It’s understated and clever, something this movie is not. 

    Incidentally, the movie was originally titled “”A Couple of Dicks”” — fitting, since that’s who wrote it.

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