COP OUT is such a mess that picking out any single element for richly deserved damnation is to lessen the awful impact of a whole that is so much more than the sum of its parts. Badly written, uncertainly directed, and acted by his two stars, Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis, as though they had only just seen the script, possibly on cue cards, there is nothing to recommend it save for the fact that it does, eventually, end.
Morgan and Willis are Paul and Jimmy, New York cops celebrating nine years of partnership. They have all the usual z-grade movie cop problems. Professionally, that includes a captain who doesn’t understand them, and suspends them for not playing by the rules, and rivals in the squad room who do everything by the book. Personally, Paul is convinced his wife (Rashida Jones) is cheating on him, and Jimmy is worried that he can’t pay for his daughter’s dream wedding. None of that matters in a story that is a bramble bush of incompatible plot lines, treatments, and situations that do nothing but prove the existence of chaos theory at its most irritating.
There’s some piffle about a drug lord, a baseball card, and a missing car that serves only to allow the actors to engage in a diabolical contest to see who can be the most off-putting on screen. It’s a fierce contest that involves overwrought boots, knock-knock jokes, and a gleeful fixation on bodily elimination that just won’t quit. Willis sneers as though he has just said something clever (he hasn’t), Morgan postures as though he is being clever (he isn’t), and even Seann William Scott, easily one of the most teddy bear-like of actors, engenders an active gag reflex as he essays a contest with Morgan to see which of them can be more like a two-year-old with personality issues.
When not being merely bad cinema, COP OUT devolves into stereotypes of the most offensive variety in the name of comedy. And this brings up the single greatest failing here. While very, very bad things happen on screen, from bodies ripped up by machine guns to an impression of Al Pacino that might merit legal action, COP OUT is never funny. Not even close.