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Monday, February 20, 2012

My 100 Worst Movies of the 90's - 48 - Cop and a Half (1993)

Cop and a Half (1993; Universal Pictures)
Jake Lloyd eat your heart out!  We have a winner for the worst child actor ever!  Norman D. Golden II appeared on the scene in a small part in the very forgotten 90’s TV show True Colors.  His next project was second bill in a buddy cop movie alongside a washed up Burt Reynolds.  Reynolds looks (and sounds) drunk most of the time, Golden does not execute his lines much better and the plot is so damn stupid that you it makes you long for the inspired wonderment that is Last Action Hero (sarcasm :P).

The plot centers on a kid named Devon (Golden) who witnesses a murder but refuses to give up the identity of the killer until he is officially made a police officer.  So (Because the plot says so), Devon is made a cop and partnered up with a grizzled veteran named Nick (Reynolds) who does not want to work with the kid at first, but he and the kid continue to get into trouble and ultimately the two work together to catch the killer.

Plot aside, Cop and a Half is a bizarre movie.  It has a number of action scenes where bad guys are actively trying to kill young Devon.  If that’s not uncomfortable enough, the movie features a number of gags that would seem at home in a more adult movie.  This imbalance is a key to this movie’s biggest problems.  It is filled with violence and potty mouths, yet we are meant to be convinced this movie is for all ages.

Cop and a Half was obviously meant to be a family romp but lacks heart mainly due to Reynolds and Golden’s terrible performances.  The studio, at the time of the film’s release, marketed him as the next big child star, the critics disagreed and apparently so did audiences because he never really caught on.  The kid looks and acts as though he should be doing a comical interview segment with Grover on Sesame Street and has about the same amount of charisma as a Muppet without a puppeteer.  Reynolds, by the time this movie came out, was already too old for these types of roles and he seems as though he’s about to break a hip through most of the movie.  Everything in Cop and a Half seems out of place and it is ultimately a sloppy, and unnecessary movie.  This one should have either been recast, or doomed as a screenplay to gather dust in a bin in some studio’s crypt-like file room.

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