I haven't spoken to Kevin Smith regarding "Cop Out," but everything I've read him say is that he doesn't look at this as a "Kevin Smith" movie. It seems to be hard to review his films without reviewing him to some degree, but I get the feeling he'd rather be left out of the review. So fair enough. Suffice it to say he directed and edited the film.
"Cop Out" is a case study in how you can do everything right in theory and everything wrong in practice. I like the idea of hiring writer/directors to sometimes shoot someone else's script, and I think they should do the opposite, too... have someone else direct their work and give that person the trust of final cut. And so I'm down with the idea of hiring this guy to make a movie outside his comfort zone. Tracy Morgan is a performer who's only as good as the context you give him, and I like the notion of him in a cop film with a real cop movie icon, Bruce Willis. That works as an idea. Seann William Scott and Guillermo Diaz and Kevin Pollack and Adam Brody and Jason Lee... all good comic performers who have had great moments in the past, and who make sense if you're trying to fill the cast out. A script that makes the much-discussed "Black List", which increasingly seems to be "the list of all the stuff that's about to start casting in the next four to six months" rather than any sort of genuine poll of the best unproduced scripts. All of these things are ingredients that should add up to a fun studio comedy that pays playful "ho-mage" to the interracial buddy cop films of the '80s.
They don't, though. At all.