*Directed by Kevin Smith, this mismatched partners comedy stars Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan as NYPD detectives, with the former playing a wily veteran in contrast to the latter’s more mercurial, trash-talking village idiot. We learn that despite seemingly incompatible personas, Jimmy Monroe (Willis) and Paul Hodges (Morgan) have somehow been sharing the same police cruiser for nine years.
Set in Brooklyn, the arc of this uneven offering retraces the trademark, unlikely-buddy blueprint wherein the protagonists are called on the carpet back at the precinct following a badly botched stakeout. In this case, because Paul’s flamboyant antics during the operation ended up on Youtube, their hard-boiled boss (Sean Cullen) not only strips them of their badges and guns, but suspends them both without pay as well.
Not to worry, Paul has some real guns and fake badges ready for an emergency like this. Going rogue, they arrest a street hustler (Seann William Scott) who, in turn, fingers Poh Boy (Guillermo Diaz), the maniacal patriarch of a Mexican drug cartel.
What ensues is an infantile combination of the sort of crudity, carnage and crass sexual humor we’ve all come to anticipate from a bottom-feeder like Kevin Smith. Thus, his diehard fans are apt to be satisfied by the gratuitous indulgence in the prurient, the profane and potty humor, while others are likely to be left scratching your head and asking, “Is that it?”
You know you’re in trouble when a film’s funniest moments come courtesy of a tertiary character’s knock-knock joke and that echolocution prank from grammar school where you repeat everything somebody else says. Meanwhile, lead actors Willis and Morgan simply fail to exhibit the basic camaraderie critical to convey that authentic sense of chemistry fundamental to a buddy vehicle. And if they ain’t feeling it, you aren’t likely to either.
Silent Bob strikes out!
Fair (1.5 stars)
Rated R for pervasive profanity, sexual references, violence and brief sexuality.
Running time: 110 Minutes
Distributor: Warner Home Video
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Digital copy, deleted scenes, over 40 minutes of extended scenes and outtakes, 9 focus points, walk-ons by director Kevin Smith, picture-in-picture commentary by Smith and actor Seann William Scott, and more.
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