‘Cop And A Half’ (1993) – Netflix ‘Netflop’ Of The Week | Film Review
Have you ever wanted to see Burt Reynolds sweat for a solid ninety minutes, while babysitting a small child? If so Cop and a Half is a must see. Allow me a moment to explain the bizarre fever dream of a story that is Cop and a Half.
Devon Butler (Norman D. Golden II) is an 8 year old boy who dreams of joining the police. One day while playing in a warehouse he witnesses a murder. He then blackmails the police in to making him a cop in exchange for giving them evidence. Hilarity then fails to ensue when the boy is teamed with Nick McKenna (Burt Reynolds), a man who hates children. They then both work together to track down the killer.
To make it clear from the start, I hated this film. The basic reason the film is so bad is that it’s just not funny. Reynolds and Golden have no chemistry so consequently you never believe that Reynold’s dislike of the boy is begrudging, instead it feels like Reynolds actively dislikes his young co-star. This gives the film a really awkward atmosphere that makes any attempt at humour even more forced than the ludicrous plot.
Furthermore I’m perfectly willing to suspend my disbelief, if you show me a man can fly, I’m on board, as long as you stick to the rules you’ve established, I’m happy. But this film firmly establishes itself as taking place in the real world early on, when a young boy witnessing a murder is treated with all the gravity it would be in the real world. It then completely divorces itself from this by suggesting that a police force would allow an eight year old boy to join the police. It’s ludicrous and the film doesn’t help itself by having Reynolds constantly point out how wrong it is that he has a kid with him.
All in all the film feels like a shallow attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the “adult paired with a kid genre” like Kindergarten Cop. But it falls miles off the mark, lacking any of the charm, wit or humour of its predecessor. The straw that finally broke me though was a scene in which Reynolds and his young charge engage in a ‘sword fight’ while there in the bathroom. The scene’s painfully awkward and made worse by how seemingly unaware of the potential implications it is. I literally cringed in my seat through shear disbelief that anyone would find this funny or think this was a good idea.
If you’re a sadomasochist then maybe this will be for you, but for most, this painfully awkward film will make you wish that eye bleach was a real thing.