Kevin Smith has directed fourteen feature films including this year’s Killroy Was Here, and the only one he didn’t also write was 2010’s forgotten buddy movie Cop Out. It remains the one time the filmmaker has ever been used as a studio hand for hire, with Smith admitting on multiple occasions in the years since that it’s not a mistake he’ll ever be making again based on his experience.
Cop Out was widely dismissed by critics and bombed at the box office after earning just $55 million on a $30 million budget, but that’s still good enough to make it the highest-grossing effort of the View Askewniverse creator’s career. The forgettable and formulaic action comedy currently holds a weak Rotten Tomatoes score of just 19%, though, and it’s about as uninspired, one-note and derivative as the popular subgenre can possibly get.
However, the most interesting thing by far about Cop Out was the fractured working relationship between Smith and star Bruce Willis. The director only signed on to the project, and took a pay cut for his troubles, because he wanted to work with the actor having struck up a rapport during their brief scenes together on Live Free or Die Hard.
They both ended up regretting it, though, with Smith accusing Willis of being lazy and disinterested, going so far as to describe having to deal with him as soul-crushing. In fact, he even toasted the wrap party that the leading man didn’t bother to attend by raising his glass and saying: “I want to thank everyone who worked on the film, except for Bruce Willis, who is a f*cking dick.” For those curious to see how behind the scenes disputes affect a movie, Cop Out is coming to Netflix next month on April 1st