Originally titled A Couple of Dicks (gee, I wonder why the MPAA had them change it), Cop Out is a film that suffers from an identity crisis. Is it a comedy? Is it an action movie? Is it an action comedy? Nothing ever gels and comes together as the film moves from one awkward scene to the next with no jokes or lines worth telling others about.
Cop Out is an amalgam of buddy-cop movie clichés that aim below the bar instead of reaching or surpassing it. One of the main problems I had was the total lack of chemistry between stars Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan.
Both seem to be in different films, and never give us what all great buddy-cop movie partners need: conflict. Without a real conflict between Willis and Morgan’s characters, the partnership fizzles and lacks any catalyst for comedy.
Mel Gibson and Danny Glover had more chemistry in the first Lethal Weapon. While Gibson and Glover were playing partners who had never worked together before, we’re to believe that Willis and Morgan have been partners for nine years. I never would have known that from just watching the film.
Luckily the point is driven home about ten times in the opening dialogue between Willis and Morgan. But even with this attempt to emphatically tell the audience how long they had worked together, I didn’t buy it.
Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours, and even Rush Hour combine the elements of comedy and action in a much more cohesive and engaging manner than Cop Out. What this movie lacks is any sense of originality, timing, or (as mentioned above) any real chemistry between its two leads. And humor was also glaringly absent from start to finish.
I kept expecting laughs and they never came. After all, this is billed as an action-comedy. But while the action is definitely present, the comedy is certainly in short supply. Tracy Morgan tries his hardest to get laughs, but each attempt results in silence instead of a chuckle or belly laugh. And we know from his role on 30 Rock that Tracy Morgan is a funny guy. So what happened here?
Bruce Willis, while in the right genre, appears bored most of the film. It was almost as if he knew the quality wasn’t there, but had no choice but to finish the film. We know Willis can do action (Die Hard) and comedy (The Whole Nine Yards), so why does he come across as so lax in this film? Apparently, Willis read the script and thought it was funny. That must have been a draft of the script not used to make the film.
What was also blaringly absent was Kevin Smith comic edge. With the script lacking any clever dialogue, zingers, or moments, I was hoping that a great comedic mind like Smith would bring in the big guns and deliver the same level of fun present in other films. Sadly, this never happens and we’re left with a seemingly by-the-book buddy-cop movie that brings nothing new to the table and leaves little to remember it by after.
I expected more from Cop Out, I honestly did. With a screen vet like Willis, a comedy directing legend like Kevin Smith, and the incessant promotion for the film (almost every billboard in L.A. has Willis and/or Morgan’s face on it, the rest are for Alice in Wonderland), I really was looking forward to a laugh-til-you-cry buddy-cop comedy. Instead we’re handed a mediocre movie with bad comic timing, lame jokes, and a wasted cast.
I cannot recommend this movie. It’s not worth the ticket price.
Think I’m way wrong on this? Let me know what jokes and scenes you felt were laugh-out-loud funny? Is this the best buddy-cop movie you’ve ever seen? The worst? Leave a comment and let us know.