"Cop Out": Movie Review (2010)

2/26/2010 Posted by Admin

"Cop Out"

Movie Review

Directed by Kevin Smith, written by Robb Cullen & Mark Cullen, rated R.

By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes


Advertisements for "Cop Out," as well as the film’s opening sequence, set this film out to be a cop thriller. Jimmy and Paul (Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, respectively), who play a good-cop, bad-cop duo (or a serious-cop, silly-cop, as the case may be), enter the precinct to the triumphant soundtrack of the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Til Brooklyn.” They look like they’re the toughest guys in Brooklyn.

Spoiler Alert: They’re not.

As soon as the song ends, Paul interrogates a detainee, solely using lines and references from films that riddle cable television, including Willis’ own “Die Hard,” which, in the first truly laugh out loud moment of the film, Jimmy says, “Never seen that one.” At this moment, we know that these cops aren’t serious, and they’re not even that good at their jobs. A few scenes later in a chase-out gone terribly awry, complete with Paul dressed in a full body foam cell phone suit, we see the latest blunder of the duo, this time resulting in a one-month suspension without pay.

In his first stint as director but not writer of the film, Smith chronicles the slapstick journey of Jimmy and Paul during their one-month suspension. As you can guess, they didn’t idly sit at home. No, Jimmy wants to save the day (and save face) and pay for his daughter Ava’s (Michelle Trachtenberg) incredibly expensive wedding, so her annoying, rich stepfather Roy (Jason Lee) doesn’t foot the bill and steal Jimmy’s pride. But without income for the month, Jimmy chooses to sell a relic of his childhood, his priceless ’52 Pafko baseball card, which will cover the expenses of the wedding and then some.

That’s, of course, easier said than done.

While trying to sell the card to an eager Brooklyn pawn-shop owner, Paul’s paranoia turned obsession that his wife (Rashida Jones) is cheating on him, got the better of him once more, and the duo is paired once more with the task of recovering from a serious blunder. A robbery at the pawn-shop by the acrobatic burglar Dave (Seann William Scott) sends the defective police duo into a retrieval mission, so as not to let rival police duo--Hunsacker and Mangold (Kevin Pollack and Adam Brody)--save the day. They are going to get the card back, pay for the wedding and let Hunsacker and Mangold suffer in the process. This sends them on a ridiculous journey through Brooklyn and Queens, in a string of highly comedic, if not totally unimportant, moments.

Each turn Jimmy and Paul make allow for them to team up with more unsuspecting people--in a serious cop film, these alliances could never rightly exist--and realize just how small the world of crime in New York City ultimately is, at least in a Kevin Smith film. Who knew, for instance, that the chief drug lord in Brooklyn, Poh Boy (expertly and hilariously played by Guillermo Diaz), also is a huge baseball memorabilia collector? And how convenient! Jimmy and Paul were once upon a time trying to bring Poh Boy down without knowing who he was, let alone knowing his one true passion. These silly glimpses into characters’ personal lives create for great comedic moments and brilliant one-liners, which ultimately are what make this film worth seeing.

That said, with all the directions "Cop Out" veers into, following what is central to the plot is nevertheless difficult and totally forgotten at points. But maybe that’s really the point here. While this is a film masquerading as a buddy cop film, it’s really just a slapstick comedy that happens to have police elements. Following the story is less fun than sitting back and seeing all the absurd situations Jimmy, Paul and all the people they’ve met along the way find themselves in. And *spoiler alert* some things do work out, and some things don’t, but who cares? An anti-climactic ending works in a film like this, because the humor trumps the plot.

What saves "Cop Out" from leaving its audience as prisoners is its all-star lineup.

Some of the funniest people working in Hollywood appear in this film, even for very short cameos. And that’s the surprise that makes this film. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing (chances are, it’s totally random or confusing, and probably pretty stupid).  What matters is that they are hysterical while doing it. I love Susie Essman, and I still don’t get why she needed to make a 5-minute cameo, but I can tell you that I loved every second of those five minutes.

Ultimately, "Cop Out" isn’t for everyone. For people who haven’t seen any of Kevin Smith's films, this shouldn’t be their foray into his work--his earlier movies are much better. And if slapstick humor isn’t your thing, then it’s probably best to pass on this--the plot just isn't interesting enough to make it worthwhile. That said, if you’re looking to laugh at stupid humor and plays on movie clich├ęs for two hours, then "Cop Out" is worth seeing.

Grade: C

View the movie trailer for "Cop Out" below. What are your thoughts?


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  3. Bryon said...

    Sunsets in Rockaway Beach and knitting sweaters was a very strange addition to the movie but it worked in some strange way. Dave (S.W.S) playing like a school kid was funny but I was surprised that he died because he was a lot funnier than the other cop duo. This movie was on HBO recently which my wife recorded for me because she figured I would like it and she was right. I watched it while I was waiting for my car to be repaired and I’m glad I have my DISH Network employee Sling adapter for situations like this. I get live and recorded TV anywhere I go which I watch on my iPhone.