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Cop Out

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By Katie Crocker

cop-out also cop-out (k p out )
n. Slang
1. A failure to fulfill a commitment or responsibility or to face a difficulty squarely.
2. A person who fails to fulfill a commitment or responsibility.
3. An excuse for inaction or evasion.

Buddy cop comedies aren’t a new breed to the big screen, with hits such as “Rush Hour”, “Lethal Weapon” and “Men In Black”, it’s hard to believe that any flick following this fun formula could fail to entertain. Yet, “Cop Out” manages to do just that and encompasses the very definition of its title (Please see above).
In the driver’s seat, is Jimmy Monroe, (Bruce Willis) a mediocre NYPD cop, fresh on suspension with shotgun partner, Paul Hodges (Tracey Morgan) for screwing up yet another undercover assignment. Desperate, and low on cash, Jimmy’s forced to sell his prized baseball card to pay for his daughter’s wedding. Yet, before the deal goes through, Dave (Sean William Scott), small time cat burglar extraordinaire, snatches it and hands it off to the up and coming drug lord, Poh Boy (Guillermo Diaz). As the one-note characters converge on Poh Boy’s drug lair, Paul battles insecurity demons over his beautiful wife’s possible infidelity and the cops lead us through an epic symphony of mediocre shoot outs, one-liners, and deliver an overcooked soundtrack to Jimmy and Paul’s stale bro-mance.

This over-the top comedy killer is Director Kevin Smith’s first stab at shooting a film he didn’t also pen and it’s unfortunate too, because with films like “Mallrats” and “Chasing Amy” under his belt, I know he’s a better writer than the gentleman that got paid for this two hour Tracey Morgan routine.
From start to finish this film bows down to the comedic stylings of the “30 Rock” actor and relies heavily on it to carry the film through to the bitter end. The only problem is, I can’t uncover any comedic value in Morgan’s sense of humor and with a film that caters to the actors every compulsion, it wound up being the ride-along that lasted too long for comfort. The “bits” performed by Morgan were oftentimes long-winded and stopped the film dead in its tracks, pausing for any lifeline or chuckle it could grasp at.

Meanwhile, I could barely find Willis among the wreckage of futility, even though he was the only character that had any motivation or story line. Yet, even that thin thread of hope became scrambled and lost as Morgan oversaturated the screen. While I was still holding out for the action sequences, they either never existed or found their way to the cutting room floor, which is a shame because they might have provided some relief or distraction from the Morgan pool I was drowning in.

Unfortunately, the only distractions provided were B-story characters Hunsaker (Kevin Pollack) and Barry, (Adam Brody) the rival “play by the rules” cops to Jimmy and Paul. Although the duo was thrown in for in some supposed flavor, it resulted in an annoying exchange of feigned superiority. They offered no threat to our main characters or even entertainment for the audience. Ultimately, they were rendered pointless and cut down the already thin story even further.

While I’m sure Tracey Morgan fans will rave about this movie, I couldn’t help but feel that the studio sold a cop movie but delivered a bad two hour comedy routine with two guys in uniform .It needed more action, it needed more Bruce Willis, it needed more plot. I will say this for the film though, at least they included a great eighties synthesized score.

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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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