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Caffeinated Clint : Cop Out

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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. ‘’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.  And Harold’s score is the cherry.”

If the synopsis, new title, and the appointment of Harold ‘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”.  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 ‘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 ‘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.

‘'[The] Flick could easily be sequelized, and there’ve been rumblings of franchise possibility since before cameras rolled”, Smith tells me.  ‘’Naturally, if the flick does really well at the box office, the studio might want another instalment. ‘’

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.  ‘’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”?  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!”.

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About Caffeinated Clint

The writer/publicist/producer who wears the editor hat on Moviehole. Favorite films include "Say Anything...", "The Hunt for Red October", "Jerry Maguire", "Almost Famous", "Die Hard", "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "Young Guns", "American Psycho", "Back to the Future" and the "Star Wars" series.
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