Shame on Silent Bob. I realize that times are tough and everyone’s gotta make a living, and that that’s probably why Kevin Smith agreed to direct a big-budget studio buddy action comedy. But shame on him anyway for betraying everything that he has been as a filmmaker: brash and aggressive, angry but hopeful, and never, ever less than full of heart. Cop Out? More like Sell Out—cheap betrayal of his fans and of himself.
It’s not like Smith can’t be crude. His last movie was called Zack & Miri Make a Porno, for heaven’s sake. But he was always smart about it. This endurance event of a movie, however, plays as if it were written by a couple of kindergarteners. That could be the reason for the tittering barrage of jokes about dicks, endless dissertations on the art of making poop and one excruciatingly unbearable scene in which Brooklyn cop Tracy Morgan and perp Seann William Scott engage in a “conversation” that’s more like an escalating toddler battle for backseat-of-the-car supremacy. It’s nothing a movie purportedly by adult filmmakers, featuring adult characters, geared for adult audiences, should ever get near.
Is this supposed to be a parody of buddy action cop comedies? If it is, someone should tell Smith that merely repeating the worst idiocies of the genre does not a parody make. Morgan and his partner, Bruce Willis, have been suspended, Lethal Weapon-style—complete with the handing-over of the guns and badges— but that doesn’t stop them from hunting down Mexican drug lords and a stolen rare baseball card, committing all manner of felonies themselves in the process and generally engaging in random acts of petulant, thwarted masculinity. Adding a fake-ass Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack doesn’t accomplish anything but make us hanker for the time when these kinds of movies were actually good.
Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Seann William Scott