February 2010 comes to a close.
I wish it had a better ending.
A Couple of Duds
The reason I chose Cop Out as the week's review, despite all the bad things I've heard about it, is, well, quite frankly I just didn't want to watch The Crazies. Though, after watching Cop Out, maybe I'd have been better off. After all, critics absolutely panned the film, with it being director Kevin Smith's (Clerks) worst reviewed film to date. And Smith took that news very well, likening anyone giving the film a bad review to making fun of a mentally-challenged child and implying that critics should have to pay for their usually free screenings. Classy. I can't wait to actually watch the film. Cop Out follows partners Jimmy (Bruce Willis, Perfect Stranger) and Paul (Tracy Morgan, G-Force) who attempt to sell a rare Baseball card in order for Jimmy to pay for his daughter's (Michelle Trachtenberg, Inspector Gadget) wedding. However, the card is stolen by gangster Poh Boy (Guillermo Diaz, No Ordinary Family), who the two cops go after in order to get the card back.
|Are you laughing yet?|
Less Laugh Riot, More Sleep Therapy
Original titled A Couple of Dicks (Heh, cute), the film's title was going to be changed to A Couple of Cops in order to advertise it on TV, which Smith thought was a "cop out", thus giving the film it's new title. This little fact is about the most interesting thing about this movie. Cop Out's biggest problem is that it's about as much fun as eating a bowl of mud. Sure, it could have been a lot worse, but it's mud. Written by Robb and Mark Cullen, who previously wrote several episodes of several TV shows, including Las Vegas, the film manages to not even fall flat. It somehow fell flat and then buried itself in the ground. The filmmakers struggle to make any part of the film work. The movie is never as funny or clever as it thinks it is. It loves Morgan's character and places most of the comedic weight on his shoulders and as someone who doesn't like Tracy Morgan in the slightest, that's a bit of a problem. Here, he obnoxiously mugs to the camera and manages no laughs whatsoever. The opening scene of him interrogating a suspect is easily the most painfully unfunny think I've seen in a long while. And I sat through the one liners in A Good Day to Day Hard. And that's about the same that could be said about the rest of the film. It likes it crude and gross toilet humor and never uses it well wither. I did laugh in this movie. It was just at how bad the "jokes" were.
Why One Thing? Why Not Five Things?
Unfortunately, not all the blame can be thrown on the Cullen's awful script. Smith, despite being a normally good director, manages to make the film even worse than it already was. More of the controversy behind this film came from the apparent arguments between Willis and Smith, with Willis saying that Smith got high on the set and never gave the actors any instructions. Now, of course, I can't say for sure, seeing as how I was never there, but the actors do seem incredibly lost onscreen. Willis especially never seems to know it a scene is being played for comedy or is actually meant to be serious, seeing as how poorly done the film's story actually is. The film should have just been about the Baseball card, but instead we have the wedding, a kidnapped woman, rival police officers and a cheating wife to deal with as well. None of these stories are as funny as the film seems to think they are and it just drags the film's way too long runtime to the absolute extreme. On top of that, it seems as if even Smith was bored while directing, seeing as how he uses annoying zoom ins and technical tricks that don't add anything to the film. It just looks like they put a 10-year old in charge of editing.
|How 'bout now? Are you laughing now?|
Sure, Cop Out could have been a lot worse. It could have been offensive and even longer with a bad cast. Here, at least Willis comes out best, making the best of a bad situation and overall the film is not funny, but never offensive. However, it's usually painfully unfunny as Morgan mugs for the screen and the "jokes" buzz by without even registering as jokes. The script is downright awful and the story is a mess, having multiple useless storylines and being about a good half hour longer than it needed to be. Smith direction is also lacking, leaving the actors lost in a sea of uneven tones and the movie is edited to hell and back... and then to hell again. On top of all of that, Smith treated all of those who's opinion wasn't "Good job" like it was their fault. Well, I hate to say it Kevin, but this movie sucks and I know who's fault that is. Cop Out gets 1 and a half stars out of 6. That wraps up February here on This Month In. Next month, we'll be looking at March 2007, kicking things off with a road trip.