Cop Out

Let me start by saying I saw Cop Out the day it was released in theaters. I went with a couple of friends, expecting a sub-par Kevin Smith experience. We all left feeling let down from that expectation. Upon watching it at home recently I now realize just how wrong we were. We went in expecting something that wasn’t very good so we left feeling let down. In reality we should have gone in expecting the best from Kevin Smith because that is what Cop Out is, Kevin Smith’s greatest work as a director, and a strong contender for best comedy of the past 10 years.

Cop Out takes the tired old mismatched buddy cop genre and turns it around making it vibrant and fresh again. Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan are partners in the NYPD and they play by their own rules, and sometimes their rules are no rules at all. As a for instance take the stake out scene where Tracy is dressed as a giant cell phone. What perfect comedic invention made even better by Smith’s decision to let Morgan riff freely. Tracy Morgan is hilarious in shows like 30 Rock and SNL where he is reigned in and controlled by television censorship but given the Kevin Smith seal of unmitigated swears he is revolutionary. He bounces comedy off everything on-screen.

Bruce Willis is also used perfectly. He’s a grizzled old cop, like John McClane if he hadn’t had all those run-ins with greedy Germans and just became jaded and sarcastic. As a straight man for Morgan’s antics he is amazing, but don’t worry in the realm of comedy Bruno is no slouch. Smith and the writers give Willis ample opportunity to stretch that comedy muscle.

The story is all over the place, which is a welcome departure from Smith’s usual linear way of telling a story, but at the center is a baseball card worth enough money to pay for an elaborate wedding for Bruce Willis’ daughter’s wedding. Needless to say things aren’t so simple for our heroes. I won’t spoil anything (because I highly recommend you see this) but let me just add that this has one of the most menacing villains I’ve ever seen in a comedy!

The look of this film is pretty great. It reminded me so much of old cop flicks like The French Connection and Serpico. Very down on the street, gritty, which made juxtaposition of comedy pop even more.

I could go on and on about this movie, from Kevin Pollack and Adam Brody as Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan’s rivals on the force with a weird predilection for cowboy wear, or the out of this world action set pieces, but I won’t I want this revelatory comedy experience to be a new and fresh experience for you.

I promise you will not be disappointed!

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