johnlink ranks COP OUT (2010)

I’ve seen more irreverent (or maybe just irrelevant) comedies this year than I have in the past couple years combined. COP OUT is another of those. This is the Kevin Smith movie, which Kevin Smith didn’t write,  about two bumbling cops played by Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. Since THE WHOLE NINE YARDS, I’d give any Bruce Willis comedy a go. But since THE WHOLE TEN YARDS, I am fully aware that a Bruce Willis comedy can also suck.

I watched COP OUT (2010) on 3.21.11. It was my first viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

Simultaneously, Tracy Morgan is the best part of this film and the reason it is not very good. When he is on fire, it is laugh-out-loud funny. When he reaches a plateau of shrill yelling, it’s headache-inducing. Tracy Morgan can absolutely be funny, but he needs direction. Kevin Smith, for all his contributions to independent film, has never been a particularly good director of actors. He gets good performances out of good actors based on his smart scripts, but one need only to look at CLERKS to see he isn’t particularly adept at pulling out great performances from less gifted actors.

Now I’m not knocking Tracy Morgan here. Plenty of actors go off the rail if they aren’t reeled in (Will Ferrell comes immediately to mind). There are moments in this which are perfect. But too often it is just one note yelling, and the effect is lost. Bruce Willis is the straight man here, much like he was for Matthew Perry in the YARDS films. He gets a lot of mileage out of subtle funny.

The script gets credit for an original story, even if an expensive baseball card is one of the lamest MacGuffins of all time. But I enjoyed the pacing of this film. It wasn’t afraid to stop and spend some time on a sidebar. A story about Morgan’s wife potentially cheating on him plays well. Heck, this script got better use of that storyline than DATE NIGHT, and DATE NIGHT was supposedly attempting to be about those issues.

But in the end, this is an uneven comedy. The action is very generic, and this film has one of the lamest car chases of all time. The energy is inconsistent, and the villains are not particularly scary. This is a certain homage (though Tracy Morgan would pronounce the ‘h’ in homage) to buddy-cop flicks of the 80s. In that way it works. It’s just not as good as some of the classics of the genre.

I am glad this film has Kevin Pollack. Kevin Pollak needs to be in more. I can’t watch him without thinking of his character in THE WHOLE NINE YARDS. And this is a guy who’s been in much more landmark films than YARDS (i.e. THE USUAL SUSPECTS, A FEW GOOD MEN).

So, final verdict, COP OUT is alright. But it’s nothing special. I can’t really recommend it other than to say its better than some, but worse than others. I feel like there’s been quite a bit of mediocre comedy lately.

SCORES

FILM: 3; MOVIE: 7; ACTING: 4; WRITING: 6; BONUS -1

Just a brutally bad car chase with Bruce Willis pointing his gun randomly and firing out the window, ending with a lame climax in a graveyard which never feels dangerous. Especially after watching a comedy in DATE NIGHT which got a car chase so right (if completely unbelievably), it just hurt to watch.

3+7+4+6-1=19

FINAL SCORE: 4.75

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~ by johnlink00 on March 24, 2011.

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