“Cop Out” is not actually called “Cop Out.” At least it shouldn’t be. It’s Kevin Smith’s first movie since “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” which was kind of a failure because it didn’t make an extraordinary amount of money (which happened because The Weinstein Co. didn’t know how to market a movie with “porno” in the title).“Cop Out” stars Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis. When the movie was announced, first without a title, people thought Kevin Smith was making “Black Cop/White Cop,” a fake movie from the NBC television comedy “30 Rock” in which Morgan’s character was supposed to have starred.
As awesome as that sounds, Smith was not making “Black Cop/White Cop.” He was making a movie from a script called “A Couple of Dicks,” which was a terrific title. Then Warner Bros. changed it to “A Couple of Cops.” Then it was “A Couple of Dicks” again. Now, apparently, it’s “Cop Out.” And I was insanely excited.
The trailer for this movie tempered that excitement a bit. It doesn’t seem terribly funny.
There are two appropriate source points for the buddy cop comedy. On the more serious side is the “Lethal Weapon” series, which is classic. “Lethal Weapon” is deadly serious about its action and drama, and then it sprinkles comedy on top, sort of lightening the whole confection. On the other side you have “Hot Fuzz,” which many people call a satire, but it’s not really. In my book, satire makes fun of stuff. “Hot Fuzz” doesn’t really make fun of anything. In fact, it loves every convention it spotlights. A person satirizing American action movies never would have mentioned “Supercop” starring Jackie Chan because a person making fun of action movies probably never would have seen “Supercop.”
Regardless, “Hot Fuzz” is downright absurd. Brilliant but absurd.
“Cop Out” seems to operate within some milky middle ground that doesn’t seem tremendously appealing. It’s not a hilarious trailer. In fact, it seems purposely bland as if the studio was worried some of the racier content might shrink the movie’s audience. Smith said in a recent interview the movie is full of salty language. The trailer doesn’t even imply that. There doesn’t even seem to be any action, which might be fine if the dialogue sounded compelling.
I await the reviews. I’m not sure I’d see this if they were terrible.