'Cop Out' - good for giggles, not for laughs (IANS Movie Review)

Film: 'Cop Out'; Cast: Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Juan Carlos Hernandez, Cory Fernandez, Ana de la Reguera; Director: Kevin Smith; Rating: **

Film: 'Cop Out'; Cast: Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Juan Carlos Hernandez, Cory Fernandez, Ana de la Reguera; Director: Kevin Smith; Rating: **

There's a right way of making comedies. There's a wrong way of doing comedies. Then, there's a Kevin Smith way of directing an uproarious comedy. Or you can say, 'there was' if you consider his latest offering 'Cop Out'.

Jimmy (Bruce Willis) and Paul (Tracy Morgan) work as colleagues in New York Police Department for nine years. Their work is slightly off the books. When their plan to bust a drug cartel backfires, they are suspended without pay for a month.

Bad time for Jimmy whose daughter is to be married. Jimmy's wife's current husband taunts him on his inability to raise fund for his daughter's marriage. This is too much for a proud Jimmy to take. So he does what every self respecting man should do - he decides to sell a rare and precious baseball card he had preserved for decades. Sadly, when he is at it, he gets burgled.

Left with no option Jimmy and Paul track down the thief, only to discover that he has sold it to the same drug-lord whose case had led to their suspension. They put their heads into the lion's mouth and the drug-lord asks them to retrieve a stolen Mercedes in exchange for the baseball card.

On the way, they save a beautiful Latino girl, are chased by cars through a graveyard, discover that Paul's wife is having an affair, get kicked by a 10 year old car thief and more... But does Jimmy get the card in the end?

For those who know, the name Kevin Smith would have been enough to make one pay a visit to the theatre. Yet, for a man behind offbeat but hilarious comedies like 'Clerks', 'Mallrats', 'Clerks II' etc, this one surely seems like a 'copout'.

Gone are the ridiculously hilarious dialogues and situations, characters that live on the fringes of society and proudly so, the awkward comic timing and dialogue delivery of his characters and the vulgar but innocent and funny lines.

Kevin Smith was the king, indeed a pioneer of low budget independent American comedies. Sadly, his foray into mainstream leaves you nothing to rave about.

Indeed, everything in 'Cop Out' belongs to the mainstream - the characters and their lives, the plot, the story, the dialogues and the city. This is Kevin Smith at his worst.

Bruce Willis is decent. Tracy Morgan is good, and this will surely be his break out movie from TV into the power corridors of Hollywood.

The basic plot - of black cop and white cop - though cliched seems perfect for a knockout comedy. The direction isn't bad either. Perhaps the fault is with the writers Robb Cullen and Mark Cullen for not living up to an otherwise decent build up of plot. Maybe the migration from TV writing to film writing did them in.

There are enough giggles in the film to keep you going. But not an ounce of the foot-tapping laughter you expect from Kevin Smith's films.

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