Posted: 03/01/2010


Cop Out

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen

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Tracy Morgan darn near has his leading role, along with Bruce Willis, in the newly released Cop Out. The pair is teamed up in a buddy-cop movie that likens itself to Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon, and others that pit good and bad cops against the bad guys.

In one hysterical scene, Morgan, who plays Paul, interrogates a suspect, but he tries to wear the criminal down by reciting lines from legendary old cop movies, i.e., King Kong ain’t got nothing on me from Hurricane, They call me Mr. Tibbs from In the Heat of the Night, and What we have here is a failure to communicate from Cool Hand Luke. Tracy is at the top of his game in this movie.

At some point in the movie, Willis, who plays Jimmy, has to pay for his daughter’s wedding. In a pinch, he decides to sell a vintage baseball card, but in the process the pawn shop is robbed, and the two botch what had been a longtime stakeout of the store by other police officers. Afterward, they are suspended for a month without pay, but Jimmy needs that card back and decides to visit the thug who robbed the shop.

After cutting a deal with the thug to get the card back, Paul and Jimmy have to hunt down a stolen Mercedes. Therein lies the problem and the beginning of one wild ride after another, with the two cops risking life and limb.

In between the crime fighting, Paul has a problem keeping his attention on his work, as he believes his wife is cheating on him. He plants a camera in a stuffed animal in the couple’s bedroom, only to be temporarily heartbroken, when the camera reveals just what’s been going on while Paul has been working.

Paul and Jimmy finally secure the Mercedes and the card, but not with the results that Jimmy would have liked. However, in the end the two are rewarded for their efforts, even though they went against their captain’s orders and were working when they should have been suspended—typical good cop/bad cop fare.

Jimmy does live to attend his daughter’s wedding, with Paul there protecting his partner’s interests. Cop Out is a good first effort for this unlikely pair. While Willis has played in many action films, it’s been reported that Morgan was delighted to be cast as a cop. Morgan and Willis will have audience members waiting for the next installment.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago

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