‘Cop Out’ is a no laughing zone

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By Erene Abdelmeseeh / Staff Writer

At least someone’s laughing ( Warner Bros. Pictures)

By Erene Abdelmeseeh / Staff Writer

Jimmy and Paul are partners in the New York Police Department. They have nothing in common. They displease their superiors. They get suspended. They’re out for redemption. Sound familiar? Maybe this could be because it’s far too familiar.

Director Kevin Smith is out to prove he could take on a high budget commercial film after years of writing and directing smaller independent comedies.

Fans of the well known film maker are likely to go see this film, not to mention audiences may be interested in seeing Bruce Willis in a rare comedic role.

There’s much potential in the idea of this film but it sadly misses the mark.

One of the numerous problems in the film was the uneven screenplay. I found myself wondering if it was a serious action comedy, an attempt of complete satire, or if it was just paying homage to the entertaining “copedy” films of the ‘90s.

The script shifts gears in its tone several times resulting in a very tough sit. I also have to mention that I’ve never sat through such a quiet theater, especially during a Smith film.

After reading the script, the man should have realized there was no way he could save this tired material.

The film involves Willis’ character along with Tracy Morgan’s character out to catch a notorious gang leader, but along the way their personal issues become obstacles in their quest.

In fairness to the cast, the plot is fairly held up with some decent performances. We all know Willis can play a police officer in his sleep. The acting problems lie in Morgan’s performance, who I think can be very funny in a more appropriate role. I found his character exceedingly obnoxious. Hearing him yell every single one of his unfunny lines wore thin.

During the entire picture, it’s apparent that he is forced to go over the top with his performance to try to enhance the recycled material.

Of course, a film of this genre heavily relies on the chemistry between the two leading roles. Unfortunately, Willis and Morgan lack the harmony that should be the foundation of the movie.

It’s absolutely baffling that this movie actually wants us to believe these two characters have been partners for nine years.

The small supporting roles in the film, such as Adam Brody’s character as a rival officer in the same department, immediately upstage the mediocre performances by Willis and Morgan.

During this 110 minute spectacle, I must admit there was a scene which I enjoyed: the end credits. On paper this may have looked like fun, but it just falls completely flat.

Ultimately, I think audiences will be disappointed in Smith’s inability to bring something fresh to this popular genre. Smith should stick to writing his own films, rather than translate another writer’s material. He is a film maker who has proven he could make us laugh with his previous achievements.

The biggest let down for fans is knowing that Smith is capable of “Clerks” yet chooses to settle with “Cop Out.” Even if you’re looking to satisfy a guilty pleasure of cheap laughs, odds are that you will want not only your ten bucks back but also the two precious hours of your time. Go reorganize your sock drawer instead. Want to see Willis in a groundbreaking creative comedy? Dust off the ’94 classic “Pulp Fiction.”

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