Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kevin Smith's 'Cop Out'

Let me preface this review by saying I’m a huge Kevin Smith fan and own most of his movies. I didn’t much enjoy the two movies he did that weren’t part of the View Askewniverse (Jersey Girl and Zack and Miri) so I wasn’t overly optimistic about this movie but I went opening weekend and was pleasantly surprised.

Cop Out is the first movie that Kevin Smith has directed that he didn’t write. I hope he hasn’t given up on writing his own films but I can see why he directed this movie. It’s filled with Kevin’s kind of humor and dialogue. With Tracey Morgan as a guest star, I think Kevin’s the only director who could have gotten that performance (and I’m sure he let Tracey and Bruce do a lot of improvisation).

Just like other Kevin Smith movies or films he’s been a part of, he’s joined by a wide range of people he’s already worked with: Bruce Willis, Tracey Morgan, Seann William Scott, and (most importantly because he’s been in almost every Kevin Smith flick) Jason Lee. And it also had richly talented people that he’s never (to my knowledge and I’m too lazy to imdb it) worked with like Rashida Jones, Michelle Trachtenberg (she’s Dawn from Buffy so I’m biased), Ana de la Reguera (who spoke only spoke Spanish and only some of her dialogue was subtitled but she was amazing), and Guillermo Diaz who is a truly scary bad guy (if you can get his role in NBC’s Mercy – a series he does with Michelle Trachtenberg – out of your head).

Actually, come to think of it, most everyone in this movie is from an NBC series…weird.

Anyway, the flick is about two cops, Jimmy (Bruce Willis) and Paul (Tracey Morgan) who get suspended from the force early in the film. This is bad news for Jimmy who is trying to come up with the money to pay for his daughter’s (Michelle Trachtenberg) wedding. He decides to see a baseball card worth enough to cover everything but the store he’s selling it to gets robbed and the card is taken by small-time thief Dave (Seann William Scott). In the hunt to get the card back, Jimmy and Paul hunt down Dave who has already sold the card to a drug lord with an affinity for baseball collectibles and become entangled in a larger plot.

The thing I enjoyed about this movie wasn’t just the humor or the familiar faces, it was that (with the exception of Michelle Trachtenberg) everyone got their moment to shine. The onscreen chemistry between the actors was amazing, each seemingly at ease with the others.

Kevin has said again and again the reason he didn’t direct some of the many action or comic book influenced movies he’s been asked to direct is that, as a director, he’s too lazy to do anything but ‘talky’ movies where it’s just a bunch of people talking. For Kevin’s first action movie, this was well done (even if our first main bad guy’s gun goes from uzi to pistol for no reason and one scene goes from day to night without so much as dusk in-between). I also would have like to see Jimmy and Paul do at least one kick ass fight scene where they beat up some bad guys.

Cop Out is a fun ride and a great buddy movie homage with franchise potential. I had a great time and can’t wait to add this flick to my blu ray shelf.
Serve, protect, and deliver laughs. Awesome.

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