Director: Kevin Smith
Screenplay: Robb Cullen & Mark Cullen
Producers: Polly Johnsen, Marc Platt & Michael Tadross
Starring: Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan & Guillermo Diaz
Year: 2010
Country: USA
Duration: 107 mins

Oh, dear. They certainly did with this one. The tagline is ‘Rock out with your Glock out’. What? Seriously? That’s the best the Hollywood machine could come up with? You can’t see it, but I’m shaking my head.

Sadly for Bruce (Jim) a very run-of-the-mill outing as another NYPD cop, this time teamed up with Tracy Morgan (Paul) – who looked like he came straight from the 30 Rock set – on the trail of a drug dealer.

In a tenuous storyline which opens with some really bad exposition –‘You know what today represents? Nine Jim. Nine years me and you been together’ – and then a painful scene where Paul questions a drug peddler by using movie quotes, we’re introduced to a very bad Mexican drug lord; Poh Boy (Guillermo Diaz), a couple of rival detectives (Kevin Pollack & Adam Brody), the impending wedding of Jim’s daughter (Michelle Trachtenberg) and the supposed infidelity of Paul’s wife. Jim has to sell a rare baseball card to pay for the wedding but – shock, horror – it gets stolen and ends up with the baseball-loving Mexican drug lord. Wow, what are the chances of that happening?

To get the card back Jim and Paul agree to find Poh Boy’s stolen car, which turns out to have a woman in the boot. Go figure? This woman has a flash-drive which holds the names and accounts that will enable Poh Boy to take over the East coast drug business.

There’s the standard big shoot out at the end where Jim and Paul win the day, but the card gets damaged. Jim has to let his wife’s new husband pay for the wedding, but he gets to be the one who gives her away. Yawn.

Cop Out has been given a 15-certificate in the UK and I’m really confused as to who they think this movie is for. There was a lot of gratuitous swearing, multiple shootings and torture but also had way, way too much childish banality courtesy of Mr Morgan (and a dreadful cameo by Seann William Scott). Were they trying to cater to the pre-American Pie crowd, or a more adult market? Your guess is as good as mine, because large sections of this film fell well over the mid-line for either camp. I think the violence was too ‘serious’ for the younger market, and those of the age who would have found the (I’m going to call it …) humour funny wouldn’t have followed the adult storyline.

Tracy Morgan’s brand of humour works well in the surreal setting of 30 Rock, but was painful to watch here. By the end I wanted to smack his cheesy-grinned face and tell him to stop. Bruce was his usual John McClane self and must have just kept focus on the money, ‘cause that was probably the only thing that kept him going. God knows the script couldn’t have.

And Mr Smith, WTF? You’re better than this. This was the first film he directed but didn’t write. That tells its own story. Wikipedia lists the Cop Out budget at $37m with a current gross of just over $55m. So, in Hollywood terms, that’s a loss.

Review by Andy Goodman

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One Response

  1. David Brook

    Hmmm, sounds as bad as it looks then. I gave up on Kevin Smith a long time ago, I love Clerks and Chasing Amy was very good, but after a couple of mildly enjoyable but very messy films (Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob) he just went to pot. I must say I’ve not seen Clerks 2 though, which some people really enjoy, I think I’d lost interest in him by then.

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