Cop Out



Laura Clifford 
Cop Out

Robin Clifford 

NYPD cop Jimmy Monroe (Bruce Willis) is having a hard time coming up with 50 grand for his daughter Ava's (Michelle Trachtenberg, "Ice Princess") wedding, but he'll be damned if he allows his ex-wife's new husband Roy (Jason Lee, TV's "My Name Is Earl") to pay for it.  But he and his goofy partner Paul (Tracy Morgan, TV's "30 Rock") turn a stakeout into a neighborhood shootout and are suspended for thirty days without pay.  Then the rare baseball card inherited from his dad is stolen when the hobby shop he goes to is held up and it just looks like Jimmy may have to "Cop Out."

Laura:
What do you get when Kevin Smith, who is more successful writing films like "Clerks" and "Zack & Miri Make a Porno" than directing them, directs his first film written by others (television writers Robb & Mark Cullen)?  A cliched genre film that rips off plenty of others of its ilk that occasionally hits its mark largely due to the talents of its stars.  "Cop Out" would seem decent as direct-to-video fare, but as a theatrical film, it's a time waster.

Let's see.  The film begins with an establishing shot of Manhattan which cuts to a feet to head tracking shot of two guys walking down a hall.  We haven't seen this before!  Harold Faltermeyer's accompanying score is a self-plagarizing take on his own "Beverly Hills Cop."  For gay subtext, Paul presents Jimmy with an anniversary card (they've been partners for nine years) with the 'sweetheart' crossed out and replaced with 'Jimmy.'  Then Paul begs to play the bad cop in an interrogation.  Jimmy tells him he's a bad actor, but Paul persists and pulls out his battery of movie lines while the entire station gathers to be entertained.  'I haven't heard that one,' says Jimmy when Paul caps his lunacy with a “yippee-ki-yay."  About five minutes later, they're chewed out by Captain Romans (Sean Cullen, "Michael Clayton") for their excessive and inept tactics.

The plot, which involves hot cell phones; a goofily ingratiating thief, Dave (Seann William Scott), supporting a non-evident drug habit; a Mexican gang; the kidnapped mistress of a Mexican drug lord; two rival cops and parkour goes all over the place and ends up nowhere.  In an icky subplot, Paul is an insanely jealous husband who sets up a Nanny-cam because he suspects his wife (Rashida Jones in a demeaning role) of cheating with a neighbor.  He then becomes the 'chocolate bon bon' to non-English speaking Gabriela (Ana de la Reguera, "Nacho Libre") to prove his desirability, and resists to prove his worthiness.

It is pretty surprising to see the talent that pops up throughout this film, personal connections evident. In a tiny, nothing role, Trachtenberg is daughter to Pam, played by her former "Gossip Girl" costar Francie Swift. A Willis costar in "Hostage" and both "Yards" flicks, Kevin Pollak is Husacker, who along with his partner Mangold (Adam Brody, "Jennifer's Body"), are thorns in Jimmy and Paul's sides.  Their put down exchanges are one of the film's actual amusing bits and Pollack and Brody are also given gay subtext which plays funnier than the leads'.  Morgan's former SNL colleague Fred Armisen makes an appearance as a Russian lawyer.  "Curb Your Enthusiam's" Susie Essman shows up to out macho the cops - essentially doing her "Curb Your Enthusiasm" schtick and who knows why "All My Children's" Mark Consuelos took a role as Manuel, a waiter in a Mexican restaurant who acts as a translator for Gabriela.

As Jimmy, Willis is basically the smirking straight man to the childlike Morgan's insanity.  Seann William Scott is in the "Lethal Weapon IV" Joe Pesci role as the back seat running mouth and he actually makes some lame material, like repeating everything someone says, pretty funny.  These three make "Cop Out" bearable and if that sounds like damning with faint praise, it is.

C

Robin:
Robin did not see this film.
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