Home > Vulture News > THE WEEKEND MARQUEE: Kevin Smith Responds To Critics’ Pans Of ‘Cop Out’: “It’s A Funny Flick”; ‘The Crazies’ Hopes To Steal Thunder From ‘Shutter Island’

THE WEEKEND MARQUEE: Kevin Smith Responds To Critics’ Pans Of ‘Cop Out’: “It’s A Funny Flick”; ‘The Crazies’ Hopes To Steal Thunder From ‘Shutter Island’


Even though Kevin Smith is no stranger to courting controversy in his work (the Catholic themed comedy Dogma and  Zack and Miri Make a Porno being prime examples); with his latest movie, Cop Out, a throwback to the buddy cop comedies of the 1980s such as 48 Hours and Beverly Hills Cop, he says he wanted to avoid it at all costs. He even changed the original title, A Couple of Dicks to the less suggestive Cop Out, after all three of the big TV networks refused to air ads for the film before 9 p.m. Smith told the LA Times:

All three of ’em — NBC, CBS and ABC — said they wouldn’t run any ads for the movie before 9 p.m., and that was it. The title had to go away. It just was a killer in terms of reaching the broadest audience for the movie. I thought about fighting it. If I’d been 26, I’d have put up a huge ruckus…. But I realized we’d really be painting ourselves into a corner. After what I went through with the title of my previous movie — Zack and Miri Make a Porno — which was a real marketing hurdle, I knew I had to give it up.

He may have avoided causing a stir with the title, but he still managed to get the most publicity of his career last week, after being ejected from a Southwest Airlines flight for being too large to fit in his seat. Smith says he would like to forget about the incident although that seems hard to believe. No doubt he’s enjoying the publicity, which couldn’t have been better timed, seeing as it coincides with the release of his first movie as a director for hire in a project which he didn’t write.

cop_outTHE BUZZ: Really Bad. The critical response has been overwhelmingly negative. Just as Smith used his Twitter account to explain his side of Southwest Airline controversy, he has been tweeting his response to the poor reviews. Yesterday he wrote:

Critics can stab at COP OUT with their poison pens all they want, but it still doesn’t change the fact that it’s a funny flick.

Entertainment Weekly‘s Owen Glieberman says:

Without that heightened racial antipathy-turned-camaraderie, there’s not a whole lot to Cop Out besides watching Kevin Smith pretend, with a crudeness that is simply boring, that he’s an action director making a comic thriller about cops versus a Mexican drug gang (yawn). The movie’s one bright spot is Seann William Scott, who plays the thief who steals the baseball card that Willis needs to finance his daughter’s wedding.

The Chicago Tribune‘s Michael Phillips says:

The film winks at the audience for 110 minutes. Tracy Morgan plays the motor-mouth NYPD detective partner of Bruce Willis. Now: There’s no reason these two couldn’t headline a perfectly proficient action comedy in the realm of Beverly Hills Cop or 48 HRS. or Lethal Weapon or Running Scared or Red Heat or Freebie and the bean or Tango & Cash or Turner & Hooch or Pride and Prejudice. But this is a lousy, invention-free script, and Kevin Smith — an interesting and valuable filmmaker here doing his first direction-only work for hire — cannot do anything to save it. His directorial personality is not to be found.


Horror remakes of 70s and 80s cult classics have become a genre unto themselves lately with My Bloody Valentine, Last House on the Left and The Stepfather, once again, gracing the big screen. The latest is The Crazies, a remake of horror icon George Romero‘s 1973 film about a small Iowa town invaded by a toxin that has seeped into the water supply and has the power to turn residents into violent psychopaths. At the films premiere, one of the stars of the movie, Radha Mitchell described it to Variety, saying it was like:

Hitchcock on acid

Crazies_1-sheetmech_121509.inddTHE BUZZ: So-so. Whether they’re tired of horror remakes,  zombie movies; or more likely, from watching Cop Out, most critics haven’t gotten very excited about the movie. Time‘s Richard Corliss writes:

It’s an efficient thriller, with scare weapons ranging from the primitive (a pitchfork) to the apocalyptic (an A bomb). The acting is only horror-film-functional, and you might wish that our trio of renegades knew a few basic laws of the genre — don’t go anywhere alone, and please leave your vehicle before it’s sent into the killer car wash — but you have to give (directer Breck) Eisner points for knowing where all the bodies are buried, and how to unearth them suddenly for maximum effect.

The Chicago Sun-TimesRoger Ebert says:

The Crazies is a perfectly competent genre film in a genre that has exhausted its interest for me, the Zombie Film. It provides such a convenient storytelling device: Large numbers of mindless zombies lurch toward the camera as the hero wreaks savage destruction; they can be quickly blown away, although not without risk and occasional loss of life. When sufficient zombies have been run through, it’s time for a new dawn.

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