Written by: Kit Bowen, Special to CC2K
It's silly. It's a throwback. Here's the surprise: It's not bad.
Is it a Cop Out to make a throwback to the '80s buddy cop comedy instead of doing something original? Maybe, but at least it'll make you laugh out loud a few times.
Tell me if you heard this one before: Two veteran NY cops, Jimmy Munroe (Bruce Willis) and Paul Hodges (Tracy Morgan), who've been partners forever and who like to do the whole good cop/bad cop thing when they interrogate suspects, get chewed out by their boss and suspended for destroying property in a stake out/chase that goes awry. But that doesn't stop them, oh no. They end up involved in catching a crazy, badass Mexican drug lord (Weeds' Guillermo Diaz) with the two other, more straight-and-narrow detectives (Kevin Pollack and Adam Brody), all while trying to recover a stolen baseball card worth thousands to Jimmy – his only means to pay for his daughter's wedding.
Yes, it is all too familiar – except for maybe that last part about Jimmy and his daughter's wedding – so much so that you feel like you've actually gone back 25 years and stepped onto a set of Beverly Hills Cop or Lethal Weapon, with the bad '80s techno soundtrack and everything. I'm sure this is all intentional on Kevin Smith's part, who – for the first time in his career – is only the director for hire. Yet, even if he didn't write it, Cop Out has Smith's paw prints all over it, which in this case, is a good thing since Smith clearly loves the genre and pays outrageous homage to it.
There are definitely some hilarious bits – many you've already seen in the trailer, but a few more you haven't. The always good Willis plays it straight for the most part, while the often annoying Morgan spews his lines in a rapid fire, spittle-filled delivery. The two make an unusual pairing, without some of that deep-seated camaraderie of, say, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, but Willis and Morgan make it work as best they can. I've never been a huge fan of the 30 Rock star – and Cop Out doesn't really change those sentiments – but I do give Morgan some credit for a few of the film's laughs. I attribute most of my LOL moments, however, to Seann William Scott, who kills it as an irritating thief into Parkour. He steals every scene he is in.
While Cop Out certainly couldn't be considered stellar entertainment, it also doesn't pretend to be anything else but what it is: a sometimes riotous, mostly silly buddy cop flick.
Kit Bowen is an entertainment journalist and movie critic. She was formerly the Managing Editor for Hollywood.com and currently blogs for her site TheMovieKit.com.