© Warner Bros. Pictures Germany

Cop Out
U.S.A. 2010

Opening 15 Apr 2010

Directed by: Kevin Smith
Writing credits: Robb Cullen, Mark Cullen
Principal actors: Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Juan Carlos Hernández, Cory Fernandez, Ana de la Reguera

Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan team up as Jimmy and Paul, two cops who are suspended from duty but continue to investigate on their own in New York City. Small-time gangster Poh Boy (Guillermo Diaz) sends his thugs out to steal Jimmy’s super valuable baseball card. Jimmy and Paul spend rest of the film confronting the hoodlums, kidding around in the car, meeting up with another cop team, Hunsaker and Mangold, and rescuing a damsel in distress who only speaks Spanish. Poor guys: if it’s not a job-related problem, then it’s a personal one. Jimmy needs to sell his baseball card in order to pay for his daughter’s wedding; if he fails then slimy stepfather will pay, if only to cause embarrassment all around. Paul suffers an incredibly time-consuming and incurable jealously of his pretty wife, so that you soon urge her to pull a lover into bed simply to shut Paul up once and for all.

The plot boomerangs from one confusing mess to the next with no real connection between much of the action. It goes from creepy violent to “ha-ha-aren’t-we-funny” to “my partner is my only real friend” to “where can I dump him” so that in the end we don’t care. The three highlights are 1) a peppy soundtrack, 2) scenes from Queens and Brooklyn, NY, and 3) actor Seann William Scott as Dave. His too-short appearances as a guy who runs along rooftops in order to break into houses steal the show from everyone including veteran Willis. Director Kevin Smith’s unique comedy style was successful in Clerks, Mallrats, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, for example, but here he cannot find the right emphasis; it’s not funny enough to be a comedy, but not serious enough to be a gangster movie. (Becky Tan)

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