I was thinking, at least in theory, that is movie ‘Cop Out’ is a can’t miss proposition. But then who the hell am I? Since me and much loved director Kevin Smith are around the same age and considering that I do have a real soft spot for the 1980’s styled cop buddy flick, I’m thinking who better to take on this project, a virtual homage to the 1980’s buddy cop movie, than the wry wit and humor and talent of Kevin Smith. Toss in a little Bruce Willis, because for this to be done properly you would have to have Bruce or Mel along for the ride and then toss in the hottest funniest black dude around not named Dave Chappelle and like I said, I’m thinking ‘can’t miss proposition’. And for like the first ten minutes or so it was looking good. But there were 90 or minutes left and… well…
Jimmy (Willis) and Paul (Tracy Morgan) are a couple of long time NYPD detectives and partners who as you would imagine do not always play by the rules. As our film opens we see this ‘out of the box’ behavior of the duo as they shakedown some poor suspect to get some information from him with Paul playing the character of ‘bad cop’. That was really funny actually.
Now it’s time to get into the story of this movie which is an odd combination of no story and way too much story. There is a Mobster in town calling himself Poh Boy (Guillermo Diaz) who has a plan to take over the entire illegal drug trade of the east coast, which involves his missing Mercedes which has upset the young man mightily. Jimmy’s problem is that his daughter is getting married to the tune of around fifty grand and unfortunately, due to he and his partner ‘not playing by the rules’, Jimmy and Paul are suspended for thirty days. This is actually kind interesting. You see Jimmy is very upset about this getting suspended business because he needs this money for this wedding, which leads Jimmy to have to auction off his cherished baseball card, which will get him this money and more. Now as this movie plays it
looks like Jimmy has ZERO dollars right now and while I don’t know how much NYPD Detectives make in salary but if thirty days suspension has just cost my man fifty large… damn. But we had to get there so here we are because Jimmy ends up getting robbed and loses this card which introduces Dave (Seann William Thomas) to the scene, an obnoxious parkour artist who trades this card to Poh Boy for drugs. Again, it seems highly unlikely that a drug kingpin would be doing street level drug deals, but we had to get there.
More nonsensical wayward story elements include Paul’s suspicions that his hot wife is cheating on him, the side pair of asshole cops who are a necessity for any cop buddy movie, a flash drive and a hot Latin chick in a trunk. All of these elements will come together, more or less, and like any decent 1980’s themed cop buddy movie it will end in a shootout. Roll credits.
Brothers… I am completely down with the homage and I get that this movie was indeed an homage. Once you hear The System and their one and only hit song ‘Don’t Disturb This Groove’ which was like my JAM, you know that you are watching an homage. Seriously, what self respecting 22 year old would be playing that song at their wedding reception? With the 1980’s music all over the place including a little Harold Faltermeyer floating in and out it is clear that the nostalgia train is running strong on this one. The problem is while the nostalgia is high, the movie itself is… you know… crap. Total crap. Of course that’s just an opinion. You see if there are two things I’m afraid of on this planet it’s Wild Boar and Kevin Smith Fan.
That fear aside one of the most important things in an 80’s cop movie is ‘The Villain’. Hans Gruber, South Africans, Wulfgar, Mr. Joshua, Bridgette Nielson… Mr. Joshua… now THAT was a movie villain. Since this movie didn’t commit to any particular story element and instead chose to go buckshot style with the narrative, Guillermo Diaz and his character of Poh Boy didn’t get near the attention he deserved and that made him a pretty damn inert cop buddy movie villain. He was almost an afterthought. So in the absence of a decent villain or any kind of a coherent story to tell, this movie hitches its wagon on its stars and their ability to make us laugh. And for the first ten minutes that approached worked. For the rest of the movie it just didn’t work all that well. It had its moments, that’s for sure, but not enough of them.
Kind of reminded me of Willis’ ‘The Last Boy Scout’ a little bit, though that movie was way better than this. The thing about that movie was that it also starred a funny Black guy in Damon Wayans, a comedian by trade, but Wayans was the straight man in that flick while Willis got all the funny lines. That didn’t work there. The action was great but that didn’t work. Bruce Willis apparently doesn’t like to play the Straight Man. Tracy Morgan is incapable of being a Straight Man. Doesn’t work that well here either, plus the action was mediocre at best.
Oh well. The music was great. And the first ten minutes were really funny. I wish I could give you more but that’s all I got. And remember, it’s just an opinion.