When I went and saw Cop Out, I had heard only one good review of it. Everyone else was putting it down, and it’s even got a measly 20% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And really, I don’t get it.Â Who are these assholes that are hating Cop Out?
I can certainly see why some people would hate it. Yes, the pacing is all over the place. The real meat and potatoes of the movie doesn’t start until at least 25 minutes in, with everything else serving as a set-up for a fairly mind-blowing series of coincidences after that. But the movie is still damn funny, a lot of fun to watch, and downright hilarious in parts.
I guess a lot of the problem is the Buddy Cop genre of films. What was the last Buddy Cop film we saw? It’s a genre that’s been around the block quite a few times, so there isn’t a whole lot new you can do here. There’s also the issue of the audience it’s attracting. Kevin Smith’s involvement as a director (Mark and Robb Cullen write) seems to have drawn in his fanbase expecting a typical Kevin Smith film. And, yes, it’s pretty obvious that Smith had a hand on some of the dialogue while he was directing, but aside from this (and cameos from Jason Lee and Walt Flanagan), it’s nothing like Smith’s previous work. Then you have Bruce Willis’ involvement, which draws in a lot of Willis fans…it’s not a typical Bruce Willis flick either. So, in general, Cop Out biggest problem is it’s not what it appears to be, but sticks to the established concepts nonetheless, if that even makes sense.
The casting also seems to hurt it a little bit, I hate to say. I love Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, but I can’t help but feel that the script didn’t play to either of their strengths. Willis in particular plays a rather tame character as opposed to the over-the-top heroes he usually plays, resulting in what feels like a muted performance. Add this to the fact that the best jokes are reserved for bit players who show up for no more than a handful of scenes (Sean William Scott especially though I have to admit it’s nice to see him in a role that isn’t a typecast of Stifler), and you’ve got a stable of underused genius.
Despite all this, I maintain that Cop Out remains an enjoyable movie. It’s no Citizen Kane, obviously, and I doubt I rush out to buy the DVD release, but it’s still a solid film with a lot of enjoyable performances (Kevin Pollack, Adam Brody and Rashida Jones especially come to mind). If you’re a fan of movies that are just big, dumb fun, there are truly worse ways to kill 90 minutes.
Cop Out gets a 3 out of 5.