Friday, November 5, 2010

Cop Out

Directed by Kevin Smith.
2010. Rated R, 107 minutes.
Bruce Willis
Tracy Morgan
Seann William Scott
Juan Carlos Hernandez
Sean Cullen
Kevin Pollack
Adam Brody
Cory Fernandez
Ana de la Reguera

Jason Lee

As Cop Out starts, an old favorite comes blaring from the speakers. It is the Beastie Boys “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” from their debut and hip hop classic album “License to Ill.” Then I notice it’s directed by the knight in shining armor to all slackers, Kevin Smith. Hey, I might be in good hands, here.

When we meet our heroes, Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, they’re about to interrogate a suspect. By the way, no character names in this review, the guilty must be exposed. Morgan is begging to do the questioning and Willis allows him to, knowingly against his better judgment. Morgan proceeds to bust into the interrogation move and do bits of dialogue from what must be at least a dozen other, better movies. Just in case you can’t recognize them all, Willis dutifully calls them out for us. This scene is painfully long and unfunny. Well, there is that one mildly humorous moment. Morgan hits us with Willis’ most famous one-liner, “Yippee-ki-yay, mother------“ from the Die Hard series, to which Willis says “Never saw that one.” So much for being in good hands.

Wait, is that “Follow the Leader” by Eric B. & Rakim, I hear? Why yes, it is. That’s two hip hop classics inside 15 minutes. This movie can’t be that bad. After all, could people with apparent love for the golden era fo rap make a thoroughly horrible film? Of course, they can. These thoughts whirl around my head while more unfunny things keep happening. To catch you up, the witness from the first scene agrees to set up the guy that drops off the goodies at his cell phone store. Obviously, this requires Morgan to dress up like a giant cell phone while Willis sits in the car and laughs at him. Both are distracted enough to do nothing while their snitch gets plugged full of holes from point blank range by an uzi. Nice. The giant cell phone and the guy from The Last Boy Scout give chase, but don’t catch the killer. They also cause and/or allow lots of property damage to happen and end up on YouTube. For their troubles, both are suspende without pay. This is of major importance to Willis who wants desperately to pay for his daughter’s unnecessarily extravagant wedding, but not so important to the guy from 30 Rock, who apparently doesn’t need money. He only needs to spy on his wife, whom he suspects of cheating on him.

Willis has an ace in the hole. He decides to sell an extremely rare and valuable baseball card he owns to get the dough for his baby girl’s nuptials. How did you know that didn’t work so well? Predictably, he loses the card which leads to Stifler from American Pie, aka Seann William Scott, a major character. Scott is at least able to generate a chuckle or two and somewhere along the way Run-DMC’s “King of Rock” temporarily seduces me into ignoring my pain.

Now, this movie would be completely worthless if it didn’t find a way to tie the baseball card into the case the guys were investigating before being suspended. It does, but so what? I’ll cut them the tiniest bit of slack for not being totally asleep at the wheel. I have to take it back because that’s not funny, either. Okay, fine. I’ll let them have the slack back for breaking out the Spanish version of Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Membrane.”

Much like this review, this movie just keeps going. There is no justification for this film to last more than thirty minutes. Yet, it clanks its way through 107 excruciating hours…er…minutes. The characters are all flat-drawn stereotypes that add nothing. The action is nothing special and I think I’ve covered what they’re passing off as jokes.

However, all is not lost. Another forgotten gem comes on. This time, it’s an old R&B hit, “Don’t Disturb this Groove” by The System. I love that song. Then, it hits me. All of these songs are from my youth. The music that scores the rest of the movie sounds like it rejected for the original Beverly Hills Cop. Indeed, it is done by the same guy, Harold Faltermeyer. The buddy cop flick rose to prominence during the eighties, also. Could director Kevin Smith have outsmarted us all, and pulled a Tarantino by paying homage to a genre born of an era, long gone? Of course, that appears to be exactly what he’s done. However, doing that is simply not enough. You still have to make a good movie. The best of those movies were funny and contained big, exciting action sequences. This has Tracy Morgan dressed up like a cell phone.

MY SCORE: 0/10

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