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Movie Review: Cop Out

Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 6 years and 4 months ago

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Written 2/21/10

For the first time in my film reviewing life, I’ll be multitasking. Why? Simple… seeing as Cop Out happens to be a Kevin Smith film; I’ll be paying homage (or “home’age” – Tracy Morgan) to the man by typing and eating. Not that difficult a task, therefore I conclude, let the munching and typing begin. (Throwing a few yogurt covered raisins in my mouth) With his latest project, much to the man’s credit, the only enjoyment I think I had while watching this film were all the location shots. There isn’t anything more glamorous than watching my city’s locations smeared all over the sliver screen. From left to right, top of the screen and bottom, NYC has a way of blessing a film in ways that no other city can. No disrespect to other U.S. (or foreign) cities, but being a native of pretty much the capital of the world, there’s a vibe to my home-town, no matter what borough you’re in, that captivates. In Cop Out, Kevin ventured the city and used some interesting spots… from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to Far Rockaway, Queens, to deserted ports in Roosevelt Island… to much avail, he made sure our diversity flared. It wasn’t any artificial Green-screen shit used in other productions where as a native one can easily tell it isn’t NYC… especially when fake subway trains are given generic stops and trains symbolizing a specific number or letter do not run a certain root… That always upsets me for some reason – if you’re going to do it, do it right! Otherwise, save the production some money and just say it’s Boise, Idaho or Wasilla, Alaska and avoid the embarrassment of bad NYC accents and characteristics.

Okay, and I think there’s one more thing I found a bit pleasing… and having set my thoughts down on scenery, the ONLY other aspect of this film I enjoyed was some of the music. A lot of it also reflects the vibe presented in the film…especially during certain neighborhoods. With a pretty cool stand-out from Cypress Hill’s Spanish version of Insane in the Membrane, outside of Richard Cheese’s comedic ball-room version, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything catchier. So much, as I arrived home, I uploaded it into my iPod, alongside other Spanish versions of their hits. I also found. Dr. Greenthumb… they make for a great feeling when running at the gym and helped SORT OF carry a little bit of a scene that entailed some Latino Hip-Hop bad-asses in the flick, and I think that’s about it.

Smith’s overkill comedy traces the tale of two longtime NYPD partners on the trail of a stolen, rare, mint-condition baseball card who wind up finding themselves up against Poh Boy (Guillermo Diaz), a merciless, memorabilia-obsessed gangster. Creating a typical blend of ruckus, complications arise as Jimmy (Bruce Willis) is the veteran detective who happens to be the owner of the missing collectible and his only hope to pay for his daughter’s upcoming wedding, and Paul (Tracy Morgan) is his periodical movie quoting obsessed interrogator “partner-against-crime” whose preoccupation with his wife’s alleged infidelity makes it hard for him to keep his eye on the ball.

Without a doubt this film will garner a fan-base. I mean just sitting through the screening and listening to reactions (as I always do), I know for a fact it’ll have a pretty fair turn out. And that’s perfectly fine with me as we all view films in different ways and hey, it’s what makes us individuals. But truth is, I’ve seen this movie before. Not in the sense of Kevin’s, but the premise of this piece. There’s blends of so many ‘90s partner flicks, it felt like a mishmash of both Bad Boys blended with all three Rush Hours and that Special-Ed version of Miami Vice from back in ’06. Sure the Asian man is missing and the smart-ass black on black snap-jokes as well, but the similarities are there. It also felt like I’d already seen Bruce Willis do this as well… think of him along side Damon Wayans in The Last Boy Scout… another ‘90s partner flick.

In the midst of all these settings, Cop Out’s range isn’t any different. Well, perhaps there is and it’s because instead of Miami or Los Angeles, the funny-tough cop duo genre’s been taken to NYC, but that’s it. It doesn’t enhance any kind of enticing rush. It’s a film geared for simple entertainment. The comedy’s overdone, the build up’s predictable and I’m sick and tired of the casting of “Latino/Hispanic” actors who look and are the part, but DO NOT speak Spanish. I mean really…? If you have pride, unleash it with pride, not with fraud. You always have one or two that can speak the language, but the others seem to come off like it’s a “Gringo” attemping to speak. I don’t want to hear shit the next time a non-Latino/Hispanic whose done his/her studies of the language and jargon obtains a role due to their respect of the language and inflections. Carajo! Puneta!

Speaking of talent, Tracey’s a funny man. I’ve seen his stand-up, have caught some 30 Rock episodes and enjoy his crude openness when interviewed by Howard Stern, but the writing in this piece for some reason didn’t really go along with his style. There was a chuckle here and there, but I’ve seen this man be FUNNY before, and sad to say here it seemed like it was pushed too far. Almost a force-feeding of jokes we all know aren’t (or weren’t) funny, but played along (whoever did) because it was “fun.” Tracey’s got the talent and pretty good screen presence, but there’s an out-of-touch feeling considering his talent(s).

Bruce is Bruce no matter what. I’ve been hoping there’d be some redemption from last year’s Surrogates, but this is not the one. And I feel kind of sorry for him. I know he’s still got some credibility and perhaps there can be another few roles he can land that maybe (and that’s a big maybe) he can spin off into a franchise, but that remains to be seen. He bounces off well anyone he’s on screen with (as you see I’m trying to like the film), but again, the writing just doesn’t work. He’s relaxed and does his job keeping his character’s objectives alive… but blah!

Guillermo Diaz happens to be an actor I’ve been following through the years. From his days co-starring with Dave Chappelle and Jim Breuer in Half Baked (Other films include 200 Cigarettes and Stonewall), to having several roles on Chappelle’s Show and other TV spots which include ER, The Sopranos, Law & Order, and Showtime's popular Weeds. The role of “Poh Boy,” the rare collectables obsessed gangster was a bit of a goof, but to much credit, I respect his booking of this film as it’ll definitely bring more exposure. I’m not too sure about a Cuban playing a Mexican, but okay… whatever…ALL of Hollywood is make-believe anyway.

Sean William Scott: I like him, but he didn’t belong.

Kevin Smith – who HAS a few good films under his gut – took a pretty interesting dive in this film. Usually one can pretty much get adjusted to one’s style and with films like Chasing Amy, Clerks and perhaps Zack and Miri make a porno, his sense of humor has a style. For the most part it deals with his cast and purpose towards films related to unique relationships, but I can’t say Cop Out is one I’m fond of. Who am I? I’m just one person… but I can’t see this film generating the kind of “cult-like” following as most of his other projects.

Overall, with much work and passion as I’m sure anyone involved with this film has smeared, again, I’m sure it’ll gather supporters. It’s a film for s/he who enjoys lots of chases, gun fire, urban settings and style… good enough for an entertaintaing purpose. Other than that, with all due respect, empty calories



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