Well, at least you can’t accuse them of deceptive advertising: this stereotypical, interracial/buddy action comedy is, indeed, a cop out – in every sense of the word.
In pre-production, it was known as “A Couple of Dicks,” referring to a pair of Brooklyn-based, longtime NYPD partners, taciturn tough-guy Jimmy Monroe (Bruce Willis) and manic Paul Hodges (Tracy Morgan). Celebrating their ninth year of working together, Monroe’s obsessed with the whereabouts of the prized 1962 Andy Pafko baseball card that he had planned to cash in to pay for his daughter’s (Michelle Tractenberg) $48,000 wedding, which his ex-wife’s smarmy new husband (Jason Lee) has offered to finance. It seems that while Monroe was having the rare card appraised at a pawnshop, a verbally dexterous petty thief (Seann William Scott) made off with it. And Hodge suspects that his wife (Rashida Jones) is canoodling with their next-door neighbor.
Soon they’re involved with a baseball-loving Mexican drug kingpin (Guillermo Diaz) whose younger brother, as it turns out, was a supplier they’d tried to arrest in an undercover sting operation that went awry, causing them to be suspended for 30 days without pay. Plus there’s a kidnapped Spanish spitfire (Ana de la Regurera).
Unconvincingly and ineptly written by brothers Robb Cullen and Mark Cullen (TV’s “Lucky” and “Las Vegas”) and chock full of buddy-cop clichés, it’s a lame imitation of “48 Hours” with Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy. Independent filmmaker Kevin Smith has never before helmed anyone else’s script. And it shows. Back when Smith spent $27,500 making a crude, black-and-white comedy called “Clerks,” set in downscale New Jersey, he created an obscene cult sensation. Since then, he’s made seven less-memorable movies and this is his first major studio film. It could also be his last. It’s that bad.
Smirking Bruce Willis phones in a by-the-numbers performance, collecting his paycheck, while comedian Tracy Morgan must have fervently wished he were back on “Saturday Night Live.” On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Cop Out” is a grossed-out 2, filled with disgustingly graphic poop jokes