Cop Out: Bruce Willis’ Truly Horrific 1980s-Inspired Action-Comedy Comes to Netflix
Cop Out (R16, 107mins) Directed by Kevin Smith *½
Oh my dear, oh my dear. How did it all end like this?
The enfant terrible of Generation X, the man who created subversive cult hits such as Clerks and Mallrats, reduced in 2010 to the helm of an extremely lame duck of a Friends movie.
Sadly, it was true, writer-director Kevin Smith’s first foray into implementing someone else’s ideas on celluloid resulted in a muddled, unremarkable and moribund action-comedy that both lacked originality and laughter.
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Writers Rob and Mark Cullen (Las Vegas TV’s Lethal Weapon-esque premise has NYPD detectives Jimmy Munroe (a weary-looking rather than wise-looking Bruce Willis) and Paul Hodges (the motor-mouth of 30 Rock Tracy Morgan) are celebrating their ninth anniversary as partners. However, their careers are in jeopardy when they go on a drug deal, wasting an entire month of undercover work in minutes.
The result is a 30-day suspension for the couple, which is particularly painful for Munroe as he has to pay for his daughter’s lavish wedding. This leaves him with no choice but to sell his beloved baseball card, but, to his horror, it is stolen during a robbery.
Determined to get it back, he tracks down the culprit and discovers there’s a connection to their older, more important case.
In roles apparently originally intended for Robin Williams and James Gandolfini, Willis and Morgan have all the chemistry of oil and water. Their domestic dramas are hardly comedic, while their police work is quite incompetent.
Morgan’s character is infamous for his repeated use of film and television “garbage lines” during interrogation, but the whole film smacks of cinematic deja vu.
Struggling with such an annoying sidekick who must remind Willis of memories of Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element, Seann William Scott’s thief is none other than a young version of Joe Pesci from Lethal Weapon 3, the teddy bear. Nanny Cam is “borrowed” from The Nanny Diaries and Parkour from Casino Royale.
Worst of all is that Smith has composer Harold Faltermeyer essentially dub his Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack.
Add to that a 10-year-old car thief, easy ethnic stereotyping and the ubiquitous repetitive kicks to the crotch and Smith’s 80s crime comedy homage looks more like cheese – one that has, now, too badly aged.
Cop Out is now available to stream on Netflix.