Cop Out Review
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Since releasing his cult favorite, Clerks, in 1994, director Kevin Smith has become a film geek icon. He’s written and directed foul-mouthed comedies (and one thoughtful drama) that are chatty and geeky and (usually) downright hilarious. But it’s that edgy, indie quality that always made them stand out. So when Smith decided to direct a film that’s so far from his norm—a cop comedy with big-name stars (and surprisingly few of his regulars), released by a major studio, and (most surprisingly) written by someone else—fans wondered if it would be just a Cop Out (or, worse, a sell-out).

Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan star as Jimmy and Paul, a couple of New York cops who have worked together for nine long years. When they mess up an undercover job, though, they’re suspended for 90 days without pay—which couldn’t come at a worse time for Jimmy. His daughter, Ava (Michelle Trachtenberg), is getting married, and her dream wedding comes with a nightmarish price tag. Jimmy is too proud to let Ava’s smug step-dad, Roy (Jason Lee), pay, so he decides that it’s time to sell off a valuable baseball card that should bring in more than enough money. As he’s negotiating the deal, though, a couple of punks rob the store and run off with Jimmy’s card.

Determined to get the card back, Jimmy gets Paul to help him track it down—but their off-duty investigation leads them to a small-time crook who won’t shut up and a Mexican mobster who’s ready to make a deal.

In one of the film’s early scenes, Morgan’s character interrogates a suspect while quoting a whole bunch of different movies. It’s not “acting,” he tells his partner. It’s “homage.” And that’s exactly what Cop Out is: a silly homage to cheesy ‘80s cop movies. It’s a surprisingly subtle homage, though—and it could be easy to mistake it for a real cheesy cop movie. But Smith isn’t the kind of guy to take something like this silly too seriously. Instead, he fully embraces the cheesiness of the genre. From the familiar plot elements—the odd-couple leading pair, the ridiculous bad guys, and the even more ridiculous rival cops—to the synthesized soundtrack by Harold Faltermeyer (who wrote the classic Beverly Hills Cop theme), it’s non-stop ‘80s-style cheesiness.

Cop Out goes completely over-the-top. The story (written by Robb and Mark Cullen) is ludicrous, and the performances are often painfully overcooked. But, at the same time, it’s irresistibly funny. Willis may play the same old tough guy (only, this time, with tongue firmly planted in cheek), but he and Morgan have an easy-going chemistry that makes them fun to watch. And although Seann William Scott is often grating as chatty crook Dave, even he has a few good lines.

Of course, Cop Out doesn’t feel like a Kevin Smith movie—so if you’re looking for more of Jay and Silent Bob, you’ll be disappointed (and you’ll probably cry yourself to sleep in your Bluntman and Chronic jammies). Gone are the long fanboy monologues about superheroes and comic books. Gone is that gritty, indie feel.

Cop Out is strangely slick—and unapologetically ridiculous. It definitely isn’t a great movie. In fact, there are so many things about it (from the story to the acting…to Seann William Scott) that are sure to make you cringe. But Smith somehow makes it consistently entertaining anyway—and, really, that’s about all you can hope for from a cheesy cop movie homage.

Blu-ray Review:
When Kevin Smith decides to do Blu-ray special features, he doesn’t mess around. The Blu-ray release of Cop Out (which also includes DVD and digital versions of the film, by the way) doesn’t really have a special features menu as much as it has one gigantic Special Feature Spectacular (called, for Cop Out purposes, “Maximum Comedy Mode”).

The film’s Maximum Comedy Mode is like a commentary, some deleted scenes, a bunch of behind-the-scenes footage, the occasional pop-up facts, and a whole lot of other standard special features—all wrapped up in one big feature. When you watch the movie in Maximum Comedy Mode, you’ll have Smith wandering in and out of the picture, talking about the process, the extra scenes, the storyboards, and whatever else he feels like discussing. You’ll see the occasional picture-in-picture window with cast interviews. You’ll see Seann William Scott’s Jack Handey-style “Wisdom from the S#*t Bandit” clips (which are also included on the disc’s menu screen), as well as links to a number of different focal points—where you can find everything from information about the film’s title to Kevin Pollack’s incredible Christopher Walken impersonation (these are also accessible through the disc’s menu). It’s a whole lot of random craziness—and there’s so much coming from every direction that it’s sure to make your head spin—but Cop Out fans (and Kevin Smith fans in general) will be absolutely thrilled. You’ll need to block off a whole lot of time to watch it—but it’s definitely worth trying out.

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