This week at the movies, we’ve got law enforcement laughs (Cop Out, starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan) and small-town terror (The Crazies, starring Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell). What do the critics have to say?
The 1980s cop-buddy action/comedy is a subgenre that continues to delight movie buffs. Unfortunately, the critics say a strong cast and director Kevin Smith‘s obvious affection for the likes of 48 Hrs. and Beverly Hills Cop can’t elevate Cop Out above blandness. Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan star as a pair of down-on-their-luck, wisecracking cops who don’t play by the rules and have family troubles. Can they crack the big case? Will hilarity ensue? The answer to the second question is no, say the scribes, who grumble that Cop Out is too thinly plotted and too slackly paced to make much of some familiar elements.
Like an unassisted triple play or a giant squid sighting, a critically acclaimed horror remake is exceedingly rare. However, such is the case with The Crazies, a revamp of George Romero’s 1973 chiller that’s tense, nicely shot, and uncommonly intelligent. Timothy Olyphant stars as the sheriff of a small town with a contaminated water supply that’s turning its citizens into murderous, 28 Days Later-style barbarians. Soon the government has quarantined the community in an attempt to control the situation, but not before a dark secret is revealed. The pundits say The Crazies benefits greatly from its assured craftsmanship, and the result is a smart, politically-charged film with oodles of scares and gore. (Check out Olyphant’s Five Favorite Films here.)
Also opening this week in limited release: