March 3, 2010
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Kevin Smith films are known for their dialogue and distinct brand of humor. In Cop Out, the first Kevin Smith film he directs but doesn’t write, a lot of that is missing. Whether it was for some commercial success or just a paycheck to allow him to do his own thing next time, the movie shows it.
The film hangs on the chemistry of Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. While both have their moments, and the script plays to their strengths, the film feels lacking. It was nice to see Adam Brody is still around, with his small role as a dweebish cop. The plot consists of Willis and Morgan trying to find a baseball card that so rare that it could pay for Willis’ daugther’s dream wedding. And of course, nothing goes as planned.
There are a lot of winks and nudges to other films that I found almost redeeming. Kevin Pollack, playing Brody’s partner, worked with Willis on The Whole Ten Yards. Willis worked with Smith in Live Free or Die Hard. And of course all the movie references and quotes Tracy Morgan does.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the writers of 30 Rock, so much of Morgan is him trying to make the mediocre dialogue funny. Willis, brilliant in comedies as the straight man, does well in balancing out all the zanyness around him with a calm facade. As a whole, this isn’t anywhere close to the great buddy-cop movies. But in pieces, it isn’t that bad. I’m gonna re-watch Lethal Weapon and Die Hard instead next time though…2 out of 5 stars