UK Release Date: 27th August 2014
Runtime: 104 minutes
Director: Luke Greenfield
Writer: Luke Greenfield, Nicholas Thomas
Starring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr, Rob Riggle, Nina Dobrev, James D’Arcy
Synopsis: Two losers discover the respect they are shown when they wear realistic police uniforms to a fancy dress party and decide to take things a step further.
In a cinematic year that has already yielded 22 Jump Street, another cop comedy might seem to be a step too far. However, with two of the main cast members from hit sitcom New Girl on the poster, Let’s Be Cops at least had a little something going for it. Unfortunately, the film does not live up to its premise.
Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Damon Wayans Jr) are both stagnating, years after moving to Los Angeles. One night, they go to a fancy dress party dressed in police uniforms and are shocked at the reaction they receive, especially from waitress Josie (Nina Dobrev). Ryan decides to take the hoax even further, but the pair soon find themselves thrown into the path of Officer Segars (Rob Riggle) and underworld boss Mossi (James D’Arcy).
Let’s Be Cops takes two of the most likeable actors in the sitcom world and lumbers them with utterly awful characters. Both Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr are excellent on New Girl, but are thoroughly irritating here as the two slackers given direction by putting on a stolen badge.
| "I feel like Danny Glover before he got too old for this shit."
Johnson, especially, is saddled with a character that just doesn’t suit him. Ryan is irresponsible, unamusing and completely oblivious to the feelings of those around him. Only Rob Riggle as Segars seems like he has put in any effort to rescue the film.
Let’s Be Cops also suffers from a script that is completely free of invention. There are very few jokes worth hearing and every jab at the cop genre has already been accomplished twice as well by the Jump Street franchise. The film also has a terrible attitude towards its female characters, who are either there to be ogled and subsequently shagged or rescued from impending danger.
There’s also a rather cavalier attitude at play. Let’s Be Cops is a film that suggests its absolutely fine to act completely irresponsibly and put everyone you know in danger. After all, everything will probably turn out fine, or even better, in the end.
| "Sorry, we don’t serve liars here. Can I get you a cup of bullshit for the road?"
It’s a film that simply doesn’t have a purpose. It isn’t unique enough to work as a parody and it certainly isn’t funny enough to get by on its comedy. Johnson and Wayans Jr have enough chemistry to get by as a cinematic double act, but Let’s Be Cops is not the vehicle for them. It’s more like a car wreck.
Pop or Poop?
Despite its relatively interesting premise and the chemistry between its two protagonists, Let’s Be Cops is a completely missed opportunity.
Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr falter in roles that cast them as thoroughly unpleasant. Female characters are tossed aside and actions have absolutely no consequences.
They surely could’ve put one laugh in?
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.