All three films are rated R, and all seem largely geared toward moviegoing men. Cop Out whittles that demographic into a narrower swathe—old-as-dirt moviegoing men like me who can still hum the theme music from Beverly Hills Cop if asked. (Axel F, anyone?)
If that’s the case, they missed the mark—at least with me. The Kevin Smith-helmed Cop Out is an extended homage to the buddy-cop movies of the 1980s, only with fewer mullets and more swearing. It’s a strange thing to pay homage to, frankly. I grew up in the 1980s, and I never felt any particular nostalgia for the genre. And even if I did, I’d want a better homage than this.
Major film studios apparently assume that children hibernate this time of year: Why else would they release movies—albeit three very different movies— that essentially target the same demographic? If families were prone to brave the cold, harsh winter and go see something, you’d think studios would make more money if they gave them something to see. Don’t you think?