Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 9
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
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For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

THE THREE STOOGES RIDE AGAIN: The two suspended cops Paul (Tracy Morgan, left) and Jimmy (Bruce Willis, right) have arrested Dave (Seann William Scott) and are interrogating him about the theft of Jimmy’s valuable baseball card. However, Dave is not cooperating and has resorted to repeating everything Paul says in order to get him angry. Eventually the two rogue cops manage to get Dave to tell Paul and Jimmy that the person responsible for the theft is Poh Boy (Guillermo Diaz, not shown).

Cop Out: Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis Star in Cop Comedy

Kam Williams

The funniest cop comedies that have ever been made have revolved around a pair of mismatched partners. Such memorable madcap adventures as Rush Hour and Bad Boys immediately come to mind in this regard. However, the genre has also had its share of flops, and unfortunately Cop Out falls into this latter category.

Directed by Kevin Smith, the film stars Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan as NYPD detectives, with the former playing a wily veteran and the latter a mercurial, trash-talking village idiot. The incompatible personas, Jimmy Monroe (Willis) and Paul Hodges (Morgan) have been partners for nine years.

Set in Brooklyn, the movie opens with the usual storyline where the protagonists are called up on the carpet at the precinct after a badly botched stakeout. In this case, the incident cost an informant his life. Since Paul’s flamboyant behavior during the operation ended up on YouTube, their hard-boiled boss (Sean Cullen) strips them of their badges and weapons, and suspends them without pay.

This development is very hard on Jimmy, who sorely needs his salary to pay for his daughter Ava’s (Michelle Trachtenberg) impending wedding. With no cash coming in, the desperate father decides to sell his most prized possession, an Andy Pafko baseball card from 1952. However, the priceless collector’s item is stolen from him during a robbery at a sports memorabilia store.

Fortunately, Jimmy’s partner Paul has guns and fake badges ready for an emergency like this. Going rogue, they give chase and eventually arrest Dave (Seann William Scott), a street hustler who, in turn, fingers Poh Boy (Guillermo Diaz), a rabid baseball fan. Still, retrieving Jimmy’s pilfered card proves easier said than done, since Poh Boy also happens to be the maniacal patriarch of a Mexican drug cartel.

What ensues is an infantile combination of carnage and crass sexual humor that you would expect from director Kevin Smith. His diehard fans will probably be satisfied with the prurient profane potty humor, while everyone else may be scratching their heads and asking, “Is that all there is?”

Unfortunately, the film’s funniest moments come from a tertiary character’s knock-knock joke and that grammar school prank where you repeat everything somebody else says.

Lead actors Willis and Morgan fail to exhibit the basic camaraderie that is critical to a buddy movie. And if they ain’t feeling it, it’s not fair to expect the audience to either.

Fair (1½ stars). Rated R for pervasive profanity, sexual references, violence, and brief sexuality. Running time: 110 Minutes. Distributor: Warner Brothers.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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