Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cop Out and The Other Guys

Wise-cracking cops, mismatched partners, crazy chase scenes, suspended officers who pursue investigations against orders and end up solving the case, tough superior officers, smart, stylish criminals: these elements could describe a whole slew of cop movies that come out every year.  They'll say they're parodying the "buddy cop" genre, but this has become a genre of its own to the point that I don't really know what they're parodying anymore.

Cop Out is the straighter comedy of the two.  The partners Jimmie Monroe and Paul Hodges (Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan) bungle a sting operation, get suspension without pay, then take matters into their own hands when Jimmie's valuable baseball card is stolen when he's trying to sell it.  Jimmie needs the cash from the sale to finance his daughter's wedding.  Turns out there's a local crime boss who loves sports memorabilia who ends up with the card.  His brother is the subject of the failed sting, and there's a gorgeous woman in the trunk of his car.  Of course it gets very complicated and everything works out for Jimmie and Paul.
This sting operation didn't work out quite as planned.
The Other Guys is funnier, in different ways, than Cop Out.  This time partners Allen and Terry (Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg) long to be in the police department spotlight, but due to Terry's goof-ups, primarily shooting Derek Jeter, and Will's desk job as an accountant, they are stuck in the office doing paperwork.  When the two star detectives die in action, Allen and Terry get a shot at a case.  Of course, they blow it, but decide to pursue it off-the-record and win out in the end.  Thematically, The Other Guys resembles Cop Out and all the other movies in the genre, with a more overt, off-beat humor.  It has some of the humor you would expect in a Will Ferrell film, but he manages a more subdued role than his usual here.  He doesn't even have a scene where he runs around in his underwear! 
Allen and Terry have a love-hate relationship.  Mostly hate.
For what they offer, both of these are fun, silly, movies with plenty of laughs and action.  Break out the popcorn!

Bottom line, The Other Guys, 2 1/2 stars.  Cop Out, 2 stars.

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