I actually felt bad about not seeing Cop Out in the theaters. I’m a big Kevin Smith fan and missing out meant that it ended my streak of seeing all of his movies in the theater since Dogma. Hell, I was getting at least an hour of free entertainment from the dude every single week and I couldn’t even get to the theater to spend a few bucks and see his latest flick, the first he directed but didn’t write. Not cool, especially considering now I get even more free entertainment from the expanded Smodcast lineup.
Anyway, I wanted to see the movie, I just didn’t get around to it. I dig Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan and buddy cop movies. A lot of people referred to this flick as hearkening back to movies like Beverly Hills Cop or possibly Tango & Cash and yeah, it felt like that was the tone they were going for, but I’d say it’s closer to Beverly Hills Cop 2 than the original. Overall, I liked the movie, but it did have problems. It’s hard buying Morgan as a cop, especially after he spends a good portion of his first scene interrogating a suspect using only lines from movies. It’s funny, but goes on a bit long and also sets the wrong kind of tone for a movie that’s less about cartoony gags like that and more about two cops trying to figure out their lives while also getting involved with a big time drug dealer. That interogation scene is also a little off because they show Willis watching it and commenting on what Morgan is doing inside the room, but because he’s looking towards the camera and you can’t see the two-way mirror int he shots (because it’s basically parallel to where the camera is) the whole thing feels a little detached and draws attention to the fact that you’re watching a movie and not actual people.
I’d also say the movie is a bit long and maybe could have used a little less back story (Willis is dealing with his daughter getting married and his exwife’s husband played by Jason Lee being able to easily foot the bill, but Willis wants to sell a super-rare baseball card that was his dad’s so he can pay for the wedding while Morgan thinks his wife played by Rashida Jones is cheating on him). Sure these elements add depth, but some of them could have been cut or trimmed to make the movie a lot leaner and meaner.
Though it had problems, the movie also had a moment that mad me laugh so hard and loud it freaked my cat out. There’s a little kid car thief (a bit that’s played just this side of ridiculous) who Willlis and Morgan catch and press for information. Not only does he curse, which is something I thought had died out since the 80s, but he kicks Morgan in the junk. While Morgan’s down on the ground catching his breath he punches the kid in the junk! I did not see that one coming and since I will always be 12 years old inside, I laughed long and hard. Sorry cat.
One interesting bit of information I learned about this flick from listening to Smith’s podcasts is that Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg were originally attached to star in this movie, but something happened and they went on to make The Other Guys which I also saw and liked about as much. I’m not sure what it is about those awesome action comedies of the 80s that make them so seemingly difficult to recreate nowadays, but I’m all for more and more people trying.