Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Coppin' Out (Of Creating A Clever Post Title)

I have always been a fan of Kevin Smith's movies, his scripts, his regular cast and his Askewniverse in general. I like it when he challenges himself with a film outside of his comfort zone, such as Dogma or Jersey Girl, so I was really looking forward to Cop Out. In his first large scale studio movie, he gets to direct one of the biggest stars in film in his comfort zone of playing a cop. And the teaming of Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan may have soured some people, but it pays off.

Those expecting Die Hard 5 or even Beverly Hills Cop 4 will be disappointed, but anyone who wants to see a comedy about two cops trying to recover one's stolen baseball card and test the fidelity of the other's wife will be hard pressed to find a pair of actors do it better. From the opening scene of Tracy trying to interrogate a suspect by quoting movies from The Color Purple and Schindler's List, the style of Smith's comedy is apparent, but clearly retrained as a result of working with a large budget and limited creative control. But, Willis and Morgan play well off of each other, and even better off of Adam Brody and Kevin Pollak as rival detectives. And my personal distaste for all things of The O.C. aside, I really want to see the movie where Adam Brody and Kevin Pollak star as a team of detectives. Although there are a lot of good supporting actors, including Rashida Jones, Seann William Scott and Jason Lee, they feel underdeveloped and are really just a way to steer us back to Willis and Morgan. By the end, it does become a bit predictable, but that doesn't take away from enjoying to movie up to that point.

And really, who wants a twist ending anymore? People see a movie like Cop Out and whine that's it predictable, then see a movie like Shutter Island and either lie their ass off saying they saw it a mile away or are at least gracious enough to admit their ignorance and complain that the movie didn't make any sense. And moviegoers of this generation, more than any prior, should be embarrassed by the spoils of riches the movie gods have blessed us with! We see more movies in one summer than used to be released in a whole year and you can watch almost any movie, any time you want! If you can find a cheaper way to kill two hours, be my guest.

Sorry about that but back to the movie. My two favorite bits in the entire movie were Willis' character saying he'd never seen Die Hard and Tracy Morgan doing his Cary Grant impression.


Heather said...

I admit there were moments that had me laughing out loud during it and that is probably what saved me from giving it a harsher review. That and I caught Smith's sense of humor throughout, which I am a fan of. I thought Willis was good, but Morgan was out of control for me, and though was funny at times, mostly needed to be restrained. The drooling and spitting was making me physically sick. If it didn't stop I would have left the movie. If I want to see that much saliva I'll rent a porno.

My favorite moments were also Willis claiming he'd never seen Die Hard, and also the miniature care thief. That kid was funny.

You are right though. People can't expect Shakespeare when going to see a movie like this.

Branden said...

Well, I didn't like this. In fact, I hated it. I think Kevin Smith had a history with the Cullen Brothers from his failed pilot of "Manchild" for Showtime.

This script was on the black list for the best unproduced screenplays. What about the premise made it unique? It was a ripoff of a ripoff.

It didn't have any love or soul in it. It felt like Smith was going through the motions.

Big Mike Mendez said...

Heather - Morgan is usually out of control, but Willis does a good job of never giving into his insanity and maintaining a level, especially in the scenes with Seann William Scott.

Branden - I agree that it was pretty formulaic, but it was what it was, nothing more.