Kevin Smith's Cop Out

Smith's action movie lets Bruce Willis tread more water with his Die Hard persona.

A Kevin Smith directed action movie makes as little sense as Michael Bay helming Mallrats: The Squeakquel. Cop Out's take on '80s cop movies unites Bruce Willis with Tracy Morgan, as longtime NYPD partners Jimmy and Paul, who are trying to recover the stolen baseball card meant to pay off Jimmy's daughter's wedding. It takes about 10 minutes for the energy to dissipate---once it becomes obvious that the script by Robb and Mark Cullen is as insecurely verbose as the scripts Smith writes himself. The difference is Smith on his own can at least be funnier than this. The intended comedy in Jimmy's language barrier with a gangster's Spanish mistress (Ana De La Reguera) spins in the mud like a bad SNL sketch, and a profane 11-year-old baller is a lazy attempt to wring humour from corrupted innocence. Smith's usual preoccupation with delayed adulthood is the thing keeping Jimmy and Paul on the same level: They're both bad at work and bad at love. The joke is that Paul is too open about his emotions while Jimmy puts up a front. But while Morgan has moments of demented inspiration, Willis has already been treading water with his Die Hard persona through Surrogates and 16 Blocks. Memorable scenes are what made Beverly Hills Cop and Fletch '80s benchmarks. Characters in Cop Out keep using the word "homage," not realizing the buddy movie this one most resembles is Eugene Levy and Samuel Jackson's The Man.

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