Movie Review: ‘Cop Out’

May 21, 2010 Updated: September 29, 2015

This is the first time View Askew head honcho and Silent Bob himself, Kevin Smith, has directed a movie from someone else’s script. And boy does it show.

Smith can be quite the genius (the early years anyway) when it comes to wordplay, so surely he must have noticed the derivative nature of this plot. Bruce Willis plays a veteran NYPD cop whose rare baseball card is stolen (seriously?), and with it the funding for his daughter’s wedding. So in order to track down this valuable piece of memorabilia he hires wise-cracking gangster Tracey Morgan to help.

The biggest shock is how Smith’s comedy imprint is nowhere to be seen (bar the swear words) during the entire movie. It’s a sanitised version of Smith that’s best summed up with the story behind the film’s title. Pre-production had this titled as the altogether more Smith-like, A Couple of Dicks, before the studio arm-twisted him into dumbing down, and therein lies the problem with this cop out of a movie. It’s just not bothered.

Arriving at least 20 years too late, it never feels like a homage or a lampooning (Loaded Weapon anyone?), simply a dusted off culture clash movie that belongs in the early 90s.

Even Bruce Willis looks bored, shuffling through the film like he’s still on the set of the risible Die Hard 4.0, and giving every indication that this was an Ocean’s 12 of a movie (a film that also featured Bruce). One that was fun for the cast and crew to make, but barely tolerable for an audience to sit through.

Unfortunately the incredibly talented Tracey Morgan doesn’t help. It’s all well and good putting up with his man-child routine during a weekly 20-odd minute sitcom like 30 Rock, but 90 minutes of the guy is a big, BIG ask.

Thank heavens for Sean William Scott (who’d have thought those words in that order would ever be written) with his all-too-brief but hilarious cameo that just about saves Cop Out from the ignominy of a single star. This is a crushingly lazy disappointment.