Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. Three screen duos that pretty much owned the buddy/action film genre’. But it’s been 175,200 hours since the last “48 Hours,” Mel and Danny haven’t been “Lethal” in 12 years and apparently there’s no rush for another “Rush Hour.” Which means it’s time to give thanks to the new kids on the block, Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, who triumph in the new film “Cop Out.”
New York City. As the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn” blares on the soundtrack we are taken to a police precinct where an interrogation is about to begin. The cops in charge, Jimmy Monroe (Willis) and Paul Hodges (Morgan) are arguing about their techniques. While Jimmy is the more professional of the two, Paul has his own way of intimidating perps. Unfortunately, his method consists of him repeating line from movies he’s seen, even if those lines come from such “non-action” films as “Schindler’s List,” “Star Wars” and “Dirty Dancing.” When a dealer they arrest fills them in on an upcoming shipment of drugs, they decide to go undercover to capture the bad guy. When Jimmy’s daughter announces she wants to have a luxurious wedding, he has to decide whether to let her wealthy step father cover the bill or sell the valuable baseball card he’s been hiding away since he was a kid.
A hilarious, laugh out loud funny comedy, “Cop Out” consists of an unusually brilliant combination of talents. Written by Robb and Mark Cullen, the movie captures the wit and humor that made the buddy film so popular in the past. And though he seemed an odd choice to me, credit must also go to director Kevin Smith, who for the first time directs a film he didn’t write. Smith proves himself a fine action director, his camera flowing seamlessly through scenes. And even though he didn’t write it, the film carries some of his trademarks, including a Jason Lee cameo and a brief, hilarious “Jaws” reference. The rest of the credit goes to the cast, led by the chemistry between Willis and Morgan. Scott has a couple fun scenes as a bumbling burglar while Guillermo Diaz downright menaces as a drug king pin. Best known for playing the character Scarface in the comedy “Half Baked,” Diaz proves himself dramatically here.
The first great comedy of 2010 is “Cop Out”.