Koutchboom’s Adventures In Terrible Comedy – Cop Out
Sometimes on an adventure you hear of a great tale/myth/sighting/tourist trap that sounds too good to resist so you must pursue it. Sometimes this can lead to an amazing find but usually the end result is a bit of a let down. Sort of like Stonehedge. Seems really cool but when you are finally there (ITS FUCKING AMAZING!!) its a bit of a let down. This brings us to my next stop on this adventure with no end in site: ladies and gentlebrits I have heard of a movie directed by one of the greatest comedy directors, who is bringing back a often thought dead great genre of film ‘the buddy cop comedy’ (you can thank ‘The Man’ for it’s demise). It also stars one of the great wise cracking action stars and a comedian who hasn’t been beaten to death yet so he still seems fresh. This will be an epic movie which will rejuvenate the genres life blood and bring you a plentiful harvest of more to come. The movie you seek goes by the name of………
When I first heard about ‘Cop Out’ (sorry ‘A Couple of Dicks’, a line that Willis throws away in the first ten minutes of the movie), I got very excited. Willis/Morgan/Smith doing a buddy cop movie seemed perfect. The first trailer came and I was amused and planned on seeing it in the theater. Then it got panned by everyone, I’m not saying that’s why I didn’t see it but just pointing out that it didn’t make me that enthused to see it anymore. So I decided to wait for rental and judge for myself.
Right off the bat I knew critics were being overly harsh on this somewhat amusing ride and especially on Smith. Once the Critical darling now the creators have gotten mad at their creation (almost the same thing could be said about M. Knight Shyamalan, except no one knows what the fuck ‘Wide Awake’ is). That’s not to say that the critics were entirely wrong, the movie just doesn’t work there is something off and that’s Bruce and Smith’s fault.
I say Bruce not Tracy because it was obvious Tracy was giving it 100% throughout the film, the problem is that I don’t know if this was the sort of movie Tracy should’ve been carrying the heavy burden of being the star of the film. Bruce seemed happy to step back and let Tracy have the spot light whenever he wanted. See I watched this movie back to back with ‘The Fifth Element’, in that movie you can tell Bruce isn’t that interested in doing much outside of being Bruce Willis and allows every other actor in the movie to steal the scene. That movie works a lot better because Luc worked around Bruce’s attitude and made Bruce the straight man in the over the top world Luc created. In ‘Cop Out’ either Tracy wasn’t over the top enough or neither was Bruce, because it was hard to tell who the straight man was suppose to be, I get that it was Bruce but he seemed like the not there man.
Yes we all know this is the big coming out party for Kevin Smith directing something he didn’t write, but one thing I think hurt him was that he edited the film himself. Maybe he should’ve left that up to someone else. I think the editing is what really makes this film so off putting, it’s just stagnate at parts and scenes go on for much longer then they should. It just has an odd feeling over all. Also Smith’s want to have 80′s music legend Harold Faltermeyer compose the score for the movie did not help, the score was just too much and the movie didn’t match it. At first I thought it was cool to have that fun cheesy sort of synth music but it got irritating really fast, maybe he should have gone for the loud bluesy jazz stylings of the Lethal Weapon series.
What I did like about the film is that it feels real. Bruce and Tracy feel and act as I imagine normal every day cops would be. They aren’t perfect, they aren’t the best of friends but they got each others back no mater what. Their banter back in forth is odd in a familiar with each other way. They fuck with each other and they aren’t industructable. Usually when you watch a buddy cop flick such as Bon Cop, Bad Cop the guys are indestructible, not so much with ‘Cop Out’. It is almost like an Indie buddy cop film in that manner, also the few action pieces where nice. It’s odd because while the movie has a realistic feel, it almost seems a little too sterile in some sets.
I’m glad that Kevin Smith tried this movie out and that it wasn’t a bomb, it made it’s money back just fine. It would be interesting to read the original script for this to see how much Kevin tweaked it to his liking. This being Smith’s first time with a black lead. Yes he had Chris Rock in ‘Dogma’ but Chris Rock’s role was just a seres of punchlines. Some of Tracy’s raunchier lines just didn’t hit, I don’t know if this is a difference between Smith’s white comedic stylings or what. In the end all I can say is that there is something off putting about this film and that maybe it should’ve been Stifler and Morgan as partners because their on screen time together is the highlight of the film. I hope Smith keeps trucking along because lets face it, he’s living the geek movie fans dream. Hate him or not you’d love to have a career similar to his over most directors.
One and a half Southwest Airline seats out of four.