Hollywood Product: Cop Out

Kevin Smith messes with the law

GENRE: Interracial buddy cop action/comedy

THE PITCH: Two lackluster NYPD cops -"White Lightning," aka Jimmy Monroe (Bruce Willis), and "Black Thunder," aka Paul Hodges (Tracy Morgan) - set out on a personal investigation to recover Monroe's stolen rare baseball card he planned to sell to pay for his daughter's wedding. The investigation leads the pair of bumbling cops into Latin American gang territory where they inadvertently get caught up in the plans of power-hungry gang lord Poh Boy.

MONEY SHOTS: Hodges and Monroe play good cop/bad cop to interrogate a suspect in a gang-related crime. Bad cop Hodges uses classic lines from police movies, gang movies, even The Color Purple and Beetlejuice, to get his terrified victim to open up and confess.

BEST LINE: Detective Hodges' wife, Debbie (Rashida Jones), sits her jealous husband down to ease his troubled assumptions she's having an affair. During the exchange, Hodges explains to his wife that he gets so riled because she's his "Tenderoni." Debbie attempts to explain why she remains so faithful to her scatterbrained husband, but she's interrupted when he explains, "It's because I'm orally fixated," then flicks his tongue.

BODY COUNT: The movie has only a couple of gang-related shootings in the first half, the most inventive being a gang banger pummeled mercilessly by baseballs in a batting cage. By the movie's end, 14 gang members are either executed or killed in the climatic gunfight between Hodges, Monroe and the gang.

SCENE STEALER: Dave (Sean William Scott) is a parkour-using thief who steals Monroe's valuable card and is later recruited to steal it back. Scott's touchy-feely stoner persona delivers with his random slacker jokes and mockingbird shtick.

FLESH FACTOR: You ever notice that director Kevin Smith never shows much of the ladies' skin but has no problem showing a dude's junk? Case in point, there's absolutely no nudity in the film, but he does show chest flesh from Morgan, Willis and Scott.

ACRONYMS EVERY COP SHOULD KNOW: Dave the stoner can't help but agitate Hodges from the backseat of the car. He interjects himself into the conversation spouting several acronyms that go over the cop's head. First, he says Hodge's wife suffers from CCD - Cock Craving Disorder. Pushing more buttons, he explains his wife is probably being DP'd - doubly penetrated - at that very moment. Lastly, Dave accuses Hodge's wife of being an ATM - ass-to-mouth kinda girl.

BOTTOM LINE: As far as buddy cop movies go, Smith's put together a likeable and entertaining comedy. Willis and Morgan work seamlessly, flipping between playing the straight man for the various joke setups throughout out the oddly paced film. Toward the end, the film moves beyond predictable until you want it to just wrap up as neatly as possible - unfortunately, it does neither.