Hitting the bottom of the barrel in terms of originality has been a regular thing in Hollywood since before I was even born. And yet still, it’s hard to argue that it’s been getting noticeably worse in mainstream moviemaking. There’s an animated movie about those Trolls with the brushable hair coming out, and I’m pretty sure I said that was the bottom of the barrel. There’s also an emoji movie coming out, which I am also relatively certain I called the bottom of the barrel. As it turns out, there are even layers at the bottom of the barrel nowadays.
And that’s where we find ourselves again today, with Deadline reporting over the weekend that Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer is attached to an adaptation of the Fox reality TV series Cops. For those who were not around to witness this, Cops was a show where cameras followed around police officers called in for breaking and entering, domestic abuse, assault, attempted murder, and a host of other crimes. The fact that the series regularly featured white officers arresting African-Americans disproportionately, the series had more than a handful of major detractors. It was also, most of the time, insufferably boring and slapped together with zero sense of style or basic allure.
According to Deadline, the film is set to be an “edgy narrative feature” with a buddy-cop element in the same vein as Lethal Weapon. With the exception of the use of the word “edgy,” this all sounds all well and good but how exactly will all this tie back to the subject matter? My guess is that constant use of the “Bad Boys” theme song will be enough in this case, but don’t rule out a far more insidious idea like making the narrative a mockumentary or even pure POV like Hardcore Henry. For the time being, the project is a just-add-water buddy comedy film, which I’m usually happy to indulge but Fleischer should be cautious. His follow-up to Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less, essentially fit that bill and did not have considerable box office life. We’ll have to wait to see who else seems interested in the project before leveling too much judgement against all of this. Stay tuned!