When you hear that the 2010 buddy cop film Cop Out
was directed by Kevin Smith, it frames the movie in a certain light. Certainly, you imagine, this must be a postmodern take on the genre -- a tribute or a parody, some kind of meta commentary on the B-movies that stoned Gen-Xers remember catching on cable throughout their youths. And to a certain extent, it is. The film opens with odd-couple NYPD partners Jimmy (Bruce Willis) and Paul (Tracy Morgan), interrogating a suspect almost exclusively through the marathon use of movie quotes, with a background conversation about the definition of the word “homage.” So clearly, the tone is meant to be self-aware. The ch...