In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_sin_city_a_dame_to_kill_for_ver13

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

"Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" doesn't have the electricity of the original, mainly because we've already seen it. Nothing more is really revealed…

Thumb_pqlny7o714q2rle1gszmorzzjue

To Be Takei

“To Be Takei” is a conventional documentary that has a surprising emotional heft. A fun, informative exploration of the life of actor, activist and Trekkie…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Chaz's Blog Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives

Reviews

Cop Out

Cop Out Movie Review
  |  

Jimmy and Paul are cops hunkered down across the street from a stakeout when they see a mysterious figure run across rooftops and break into a house. Seconds later, he can clearly be seen in an upper window, sitting on a toilet and reading a magazine. "What kind of a guy breaks into a house and takes a crap?" asks Paul, or words to that effect.

Paul explains he always delays this elementary function until he gets home. He's not relaxed until then. But once he's home -- ooohhh boy! Then he lets loose. He describes the results in great detail. The walls, the ceilings. All right! I'm thinking, all right, already! I got it! Mudslide! Paul isn't finished. Now he's talking about the reaction of the neighbors.

How do you know this is a scene from a Kevin Smith film? The imitation of a 9-year-old describing bodily functions might be a clue. But the clincher is when that mysterious guy runs across the rooftops. Paul (Tracy Morgan) explains to his partner Jimmy (Bruce Willis): "That's known as parkour. It's a new martial art."

Well, thanks, Paul. I didn't know that until yesterday, when it was explained in "District 13: Ultimatum." What synchronicity. That other movie co-stars the man who gave parkour its name. The movie is filled with it. I suspect its presence as a brief walk-on in "Cop Out" can be explained this way: Kevin found out about it, thought it was cool and slipped in a little quick parkour for fun.

If you combine the enthusiasms of a geek with the toilet humor of a third grader, you'll be pretty close to defining the art of Kevin Smith. Hey, I'm not complaining. If we lose our inner third grader, we begin to die. When the muse visits him, Smith gets inspired and makes fun movies like "Zack and Miri Make a Porno." Alas, "Cop Out" is not one of those movies. With his clueless cop, Tracy Morgan is forced to go way over the top; Bruce Willis seems eager to have a long, sad talk with his agent, and Kevin Pollak, who gets co-star billing, does at least appear for longer than a quark at Fermilab.

"Cop Out" tells your standard idiotic story about buddy cops who screw up, get suspended by the captain and redeem themselves by overthrowing a drug operation while searching for the valuable baseball card Jimmy wants to sell to pay for his daughter's wedding. Paul spends an unreasonable amount of time dressed as a cell phone, considering there is nothing to prevent him from taking it off.

A lot of the dialogue is intended as funny, but man, is it lame. Many of the gags possibly looked good on paper, but watching Willis and Morgan struggle with them is like watching third graders do Noel Coward, if Noel Coward had been rewritten by Kevin Smith.

Years ago, at St. Joseph's Boys' Camp, there was this Chicago kid named Bob Calvano who was naturally hilarious around the campfire every night. Then I'd get up and flop with my memorized bits from Buddy Hackett records. "Ebert," he advised me kindly, "it isn't funny if you act like it's supposed to be funny. Act like you don't know." All I can do is pass along Calvano's advice.

Popular Blog Posts

Different rules apply

White privilege, lived.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Ferguson, Missouri: Third World America vs. Atlas Shrugged

An FFC looks at the horrible situation in Ferguson, MO and what it says about where we are and where we're going.

Retrieving the Grail: Robin Williams and "The Fisher King"

An examination and appreciation of one of Robin Williams' greatest films, "The Fisher King."

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus