Cop Out review ½

Oh dear, Kevin Smith's loyal followers will feel mightily let down with his latest effort, a sorry slagheap of a picture. Though he isn't credited with the screenplay, his direction displays little zest or imagination in this formulaic and desperately unfunny cop comedy.

"For me, the biggest influence I drew from in making Cop Out was Abbott and Costello. This is very much like an Abbott and Costello movie...with guns," he's quoted as saying in the film's press notes. The famous comedy duo from the '40s and '50s were ideal entertainment for children. The infantile shtick and pratfalls from corpulent Lou, constantly annoying and irritating grumpy Bud, caused much merriment to any child below the age of 7 say.

Bruce Willis has the straight man role here, with Tracy Morgan as the clown. As NYPD cops who say "fuck" regularly and are dealing with violent gangsters, there isn't much material here for youngsters. Consequently, Morgan's over-the-top mugging would probably amuse very young kids, but as they're not the target audience - teenage boys are - it is very trying indeed seeing him straining for such little comic effect. His character seems retarded, and you could never in a million years believe that lovely and intelligent Rashida Jones would be married to him. She plays his sympathetic wife whom he believes is conducting an affair with their neighbour. But that's but a minor silly subplot in this appalling mess.

The main storyline sees Bruce, under financial umbrage, needing to pay for his daughter's upcoming wedding. He decides to trade in his precious and highly valuable baseball card as a means of cash, but is attacked in a hit and run by masked raiders who then trade in the card to big time hoodlums. The two dopey cops then track down the first culprit, quirky parkour specialist Scott, who they spring from jail in order to aid them in their search.

Also involved in the tired plot shenanigans is attractive Mexican Reguera, who is on the wanted list of the villains for possessing a computer chip that gives them much needed information. The cops become embroiled in her plight and try to protect her.

All of this is so perfunctorily developed it is never remotely engaging. It relies too much on the chemistry of the two leads, and while Bruce looks as if he's having a good time, it's certainly not shared with an audience. How he, or anyone for that matter, could tolerate Morgan's idiocy is beyond comprehension. It has the feel of those buddy movies from the '70s, with an '80s Harold Faltermeyerish soundtrack, but it just drags on and on, never raising a smile. Overall, it's nothing but a piece of derivative drivel. Absolute crap.

Official Site
Cop Out at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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