Cop Out


Reviewed by: Donald Munro

Cop Out
"The rules for this film are tell don't show and signpost everything."

Cop Out is supposed to be a comedy about two New York detectives. After coercing information from a detainee, the cops Jimmy Monroe (Bruce Willis) and Paul Hodges (Tracy Morgan) botch the subsequent undercover operation. They get their informant killed and behave in a way that should get them both thrown in jail. Suspended without pay, Willis' character finds out that the bill for his daughter's wedding is going to be $48,000. In order to prevent his ex-wife's new husband from paying for it, he decides to sell a prized baseball card. Anything to protect his pride. The memorabilia store where Monroe is selling the card is robbed. Monroe and Hodges try to recover the card. From here Cop Out staggers from contrivance to contrivance, touching base with every cop show cliché.

Cop Out steals from everywhere. There is some attempt in the opening scene to frame this as homage rather than plagiarism. Morgan copies famous scenes of interrogation from various films. Willis guesses the films. A lot of the time this film seems like a rip off of movies that the writers and director didn't really understand. It steals the husband/wife style relationship from Bad Boyz, and shots from rap videos. Sometimes the acting is so bad the thefts go unnoticed. I didn't notice the RoboCop ripoff until it was specifically mentioned by Morgan.

Copy picture

The standard of acting throughout is about on a par with extras in Law And Order. There is also cack-handed use of music. No Sleep Till Brooklyn by the Beastie Boys shows us that the film is set in New York, Brooklyn even. Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison shows us that Paul Hodges is upset. Well that's good to know because we couldn't figure it out from Morgan's "acting". The rules for this film are tell don't show and signpost everything.

Not funny and poorly made, Cop Out also leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Misogyny runs through the script. Women are treated as property, insulted and verbally abused. Puerile toilet humour and the scatological make too many appearances in the film. There's violence against children: you're supposed to laugh at a fully grown man punching an 11-year-old child in the stomach. And buried in the end credits, one last scene: a woman put in fear of being raped - is that supposed to be funny?

Cop Out has the feel of an Eighties straight-to-video cop movie crossed with an American sitcom that ran out of steam eight series ago. It doesn't even have any good action sequences.

Reviewed on: 21 May 2010
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Cop Out packshot
A stolen baseball card leads a veteran NYPD cop to track down a gangster obsessed with memorabilia
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