Having read more than a few flaming comments regarding the trailer for Kevin Smith’s next pic, “Cop Out“, over the last few days, I think someone needs to point out the obvious: the best bits have been saved for the movie…. and that’s not just an assumption.
I know this for a fact.
There are no great corker jokes in the trailer that premiered last week, I’ll admit that, but I can guarantee- having read the most recent draft of the script – that there’s plenty of gags in the film… and great ones at that!
For once (usually the money-men will blow their load early – referring to the way they tool trailers too), a studio has decided to save the funnies for the feature.
Had a chat to director Kevin Smith last night who confirmed that that’s exactly the case – the trailer is the bun, the film is the cream.
“The folks have been on guard with the trailer”, the filmmaker, not unaccustomed to copping unmerited criticism, says. â€˜’S'cool; I get it. The trailer is a very mainstream sell of the flick. Good news: as you pointed out, the good stuff isn’t even in the trailer. Better news? The flick’s even funnier than the script. Â And Harold’s score is the cherry.”
If the synopsis, new title, and the appointment of Harold â€˜Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop’ Faltermeyer as its composer didn’t already tip you off, “Cop Out” is an intentional throwback to some of the fun action/comedies of the 80s – films like “Tango & Cash”, “Red Heat”, “48 Hours” and, of course, Marty Brest’s “Beverly Hills Cop”. Â I’m thinking a lot of the scathing comments regarding the trailer are coming from those that didn’t grow up in the Reagan-era, thus they haven’t seen a lot of the films “Cop Out” is emulating. The joke may be lost on ‘em. Simple as that.
Like a lot of those earlier films of the same ilk, it’s the chemistry between the leads that’ll suck the audience in. There’s some great [R-rated] banter between Bruce Willis and Tracey Morgan’s characters in the movie (Dave : Knock Knock, Paul : Who’s there?, Paul (angrily) : Orange who?, Dave : Orange you pissed your wife is taking it in the ass from some other guy right now?), but mainly, I hear they’re a great twosome – not unlike Smith and Lawrence in “Bad Boys”, or Nolte and Murphy in “48 Hours” (which is what the script reminded me of a lot; It’s very â€˜Walter Hill’ – lots of terrific dialogue!).
As Smith says, the film’s funnier than the script – which indicates that both Willis and Morgan riffed a lot, and a lot of new jokes were created on the spot. That’s essentially how “Beverly Hills Cop” came together – through a lot of Murphy’s improvisation – which, I’ll admit, was a fairly vanilla script in the beginning.
But also, as I said, there’s nothing very â€˜wow!’ in the trailer to convince you that the film’s a ripsnorter – but believe me, it’s going to be fun.
Warner Bros aren’t intending to release a cinematic pap smear in cinemas – I can assure you of that. They’re pretty fucking confident this’ll work – heck, they snapped up the script from Gold Circle, who were planning to make the movie with Robin Williams and James Gandolfini, and it likely wouldn’t have been a cheap acquisition; they obviously saw great potential in it – so much so I’m already hearing rumblings of not only a sequel… but a series of “Cop Out” films.
â€˜’[The] Flick could easily be sequelized, and there’ve been rumblings of franchise possibility since before cameras rolled”, Smith tells me.Â â€˜’Naturally, if the flick does really well at the box office, the studio might want another instalment. â€˜’
Smith says it’s too early to say whether or not that franchise will actually happen (“let this one come out first”) but if “Cop Out” does do well, and a sequel is greenlit, he can guarantee that Bruce Willis and Tracey Morgan will be chomping at the bit to reprise their roles. Â â€˜’Everybody involved would love to do it again”.
And I think that’s another indication that the “Cop Out” is a winner – Bruce Willis agreed to do it. Bruce is a fussy fellow when it comes to flicks, he’s passed on quite a few goodies over the years, and let’s face it, probably doesn’t need to work anymore (probably still receiving fat residuals from “Die Hard : With a Vengeance” – not to mention “Moonlighting”), so if he’s in it, you can guarantee it ain’t going to be too shabby. Think about it – even the least enjoyable or successful of Bruno’s action flicks, be it “Striking Distance”, “Hostage” or “The Last Boy Scout”, have still been great fun. The guy has a good nose for crowd pleasers.
As for the change of title from “A Couple of Dicks” to “Cop Out”?Â I’m all for it. I think the latter works much better; what with the film being a throwback to some of the action/comedies of the 80s, it’s a smug fit. Think of some of the fodder that came out in the 80s – “Red Heat”, “Dead Heat”, “Tango & Cash”, “Lock Up”, “Raw Deal”, “Code of Silence”, “Renegades”…. “Cop Out” wouldn’t be out of place on a drive-in marquee advertising a dusk-to-dawn with any/all of those other pics.
It’s like this : Come February, Go into “Cop Out” expecting “48 Hours” or “Tango & Cash” and you’ll be as pleased as a mosquito in a blood cot; expect Michael Mann’s “Collateral” (though I don’t see why you would!?) and you’ll likely want to write me an email after wards – one of which I’ll likely respond with “here’s the link fuckstick – read it again!”.