I hope our readers appreciate the lengths Mark and I go to. Not only did Mark recently put himself through more Greengrass-induced motion sickness, but I’m willing to watch Kevin Smith sink even further into mediocrity with Cop Out.
This is supposed to be a fun throwback to the 80s buddy cop flick, although Cop Out doesn’t really seem to be enjoying itself. Once or twice it feels like we’re veering into parody territory (National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1 was much better at this) and yet as a pastiche it falls flat on its face. Jimmy Munroe (Bruce Willis) and Paul Hodges (Tracy Morgan) have been working together for nine years and as such, it’s kind of like we have to do all the work that the first three Lethal Weapons did for us. At least by Lethal Weapon 4 we could understand how this mismatched couple still had jobs. Here, we don’t really understand why Jimmy and Paul have stuck it out all this time.
Then again, I suppose it doesn’t really matter. This is supposed to be a throwaway comedy, right? In this regard, it starts out alright – the first handful of scenes is reasonably funny. Unfortunately the plot then gets in the way and it’s really, really dull. Morgan is decent in the comedic role yet I can’t imagine how Willis could be having any fun here at all as the straight man. Then there’s Seann William Scott, who drops in apparently only to provide some funny adlibs for the trailer, and Jason Lee who does a decent job as an arsehole but really only serves to remind us that this is a Kevin Smith film after all. Michelle Trachtenberg is great in a miniscule role whilst Rashida Jones’ talents are utterly wasted (she was a shining light in last year’s I Love You, Man).
I was hoping that Kevin Smith’s first ‘hired gun’ gig would get him out of the doldrums, but Cop Out just feels like the film he would have made had he not continued along the indie route after the mammoth success of Clerks. Here’s hoping that M. Night Shayamalan does a bit bitter with his first foray into material he hasn’t created (with The Last Airbender).
The laughs are thin on the ground, the action is dull and as an attempt to take us back to the glory days of buddy cop movies, Cop Out fails.Rating: