Cop Out Reviews
There's not a whole lot to Cop Out besides watching Kevin Smith pretend, with a crudeness that is simply boring, that he's an action director making a comic thriller about cops versus a Mexican drug gang (yawn).
Cop Out is foul-mouthed but not funny, bullet-riddled but not exciting, crammed with contrivances that go nowhere. And, perhaps worst of all, it musters up no chemistry between its buddy-cop leads.
What results is a tour de force of sheer comic energy that threatens to rip apart the film -- and its sodden, secondhand premise -- like a wad of used paper towels. It's a performance in search of a movie.
The movie wants to send up hoary action- and buddy-movie cliches, including the tinge of gay attraction that passes between the stars. But it's too fuzzily executed to pass muster as satire. Plus, it loves the cliches too much to subvert them.
Because Smith has the ability to make a real artistic impact (and knows it), his disappointments tend to inspire deeper criticism than they deserve. This is no more a terrible movie than a great one; it's simply average.
Cop Out is like a parody of a parody of a parody, so derivative and desperate in its pleas for laughter that it's hard to tell when it's making fun of itself and when it has simply run out of ideas.
Many of the gags possibly looked good on paper, but watching Willis and Morgan struggle with them is like watching third graders do Noel Coward, if Noel Coward had been rewritten by Kevin Smith.
This is a lousy, invention-free script, and Kevin Smith -- an interesting and valuable filmmaker here doing his first direction-only work for hire -- cannot do anything to save it.
Smith's directorial style is far too slack for this material, which aims to be an homage to populist '80s classics like 48 Hrs. and Lethal Weapon, but only winds up resembling one of the bargain-bin knockoffs that floundered in those films' wake.