Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Review-Cop Out

In general, I am fascinated by things that I don't understand. Things like Pyramids, Jellyfish, Time Travel and women drive my imagination and curiosity through the roof. One new mystery I found myself examining recently is the success of Tracy Morgan. That's one of the reasons that I was so excited to go see the premier of Cop Out this monday.

Cop Out, The White guy/Black guy-buddy-action/comedy directed by (but unfortunatley not written by) Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma) staring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan (in his first leading role) as a pair of veteran, mismatched NYPD partners who have been partners for 9 years. We know they've been parnters for 9 years because the first joke of the movie begs us to believe this fact despite an almost complete lack of chemistry between the two.

Back to Morgan though, what fascinates me about him is that he's a one trick pony and almost the exact same guy from one roll to the next. If you were given an audio clip of Tracy Morgan and were asked to choose which Tracy Morgan role the clip is from, I would bet real money that you would be hard pressed to figure out if it was from Martin, SNL, 30 Rock or even G-Force. But we all know that. He's not an actor. He's not really a comedian either, he's a personality. And a really funny one too, this film proves though, that his schtick is wearing thin. I'm strangely proud of him though.

On to the movie, it's so stereotypical that midway through the first act I still wasn't sure if it was a spoof of the cop/comedy genre. By the scene were the two have to sit in front of the police chief who tells them that they're "off the case and suspended" and they have to turn in thier badge and gun (seriously), I finally realized that the film makers foolishly decided to not make this a parody and indeed intended to use that as an actual plot point because that's whats supposed to happen in these movies apparently, even though we've seen it many times and done better in Beverly Hills Cop and a dozen other movies.

Bruce Wilis' character is a divorced man with a timultuous relationship with his ex wife and her new husband (a hilariously villainous Jason Lee), and Morgan also has a wife (the crazy fine and criminally underused in this flick Kidada Jones), and there's a subplot revoling around Morgan's jealousy issues for some reason that goes no where.

Eventually, the two find themselves (without their badges mind you) accidentally in the middle of some kind of a convoluted conspiracy involving a kidnapped woman, an insane, baseball memorablia hoarding, mexican drug lord (Guillermo Diaz, who was not bad but funnier as ScarFace in Half Baked), a USB flash drive that has information about some major drug conspiracy and a rare baseball card worth 80 grand.

Also Sean William Scott (Stiffler from American Pie) is in the movie as wacky robber with a knack for Parkour as some sort of "Comic Relief" type of figure.

All in all, I found a few sporatic laughs, mostly because I went into it wanting to laugh. I spent more time staring at the screen wondering why I didn't find Tracy Morgan funnier.

The audience howled with laughter everytime he said or did anything, but I couldn't really see why. That's the wierd thing about Tracy Morgan, whenever you see him, you want to laugh. When he pops up in a movie or show, you say "oh snap, Tracy Morgan is in this, this is about to get really funny!" and you know something funny is supposed to happen but it never really does. But then it kinda does, but it's never as funny as what you thought he was going to say or do.

Still, maybe I'm over analyzing. I'll say it's a mediocre addition to the comedy buddy cop genre with a few rare, albeit legitimate laughs, that could have been a little better but not so much better that it was a complete dissapointment. I'll file it under "I'm sure this looked great on paper".

Oh, there's a scene with an 11 year old car thief who almost completely steals the movie, he's seriously funny. That kid is going to be a star.

Check it out this Friday, February 26th at theaters everywhere.


  1. Thank you for the review, Jay. I knew from the previews (which actually irk me) that I did not want to see this movie. The jokes seemed really lame (a Scarface imitation...really??)
    As far as Tracy Morgan is concerned, he was funny back in the days of "Uptown Comedy Club." He also performed at Towson U. while I was there and it was one of the funniest performances that I have seen. There have been few comedy specials or performances that have come close. He integrated fascinating story telling and dirty jokes. It was like seeing a lovechild of Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy. After the show, there was a Q&A session and I found him to be very intelligent and honest about his career, and he industry. I was interested to see how his career would turn out. I have not seen "that" Tracey Morgan very often, though.
    "30 Rock" is cool, but I wish he wouldn't "dumb-it-down" in a majority of his roles.




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