Let’s Be Cops Movie Review by the Movie Slackers
Let’s Be Cops, now making its way onto DVD and On Demand, could have been a real disaster given the premise; two hapless friends don cop uniforms and pretend to be real cops. It could have been the film that makes Police Academy look like Citizen Kane. While this is nothing to write home about, Let’s be Cops has some laughs and the chemistry between the two stars (Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson) making this film not an entire waste of time. It ain’t saying much, but you will have some chuckles. Am I recommending it? Let’s see.
Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Damon Wayans Jr.) are best friends who seem to have fallen on hard times. Thirty, living in LA they both seem to be grinding their heels at nothing. Justin is a video game creator who cannot even get his game approved by the company he works for. Ryan is a VERY struggling actor who is living off the money he made from a genital herpes commercial. When they attend what they think is a costume party (that turns out to be a black tie masquerade party), dressed as cops, the duo seem to have hit rock bottom. That is until everyday people seem to respect them thinking they are real cops.
The rest of Let’s Be Cops is a mixed bag of some funny material and some that falls flat. Luke Greenfield seems to want to make a film that respects police officers but along the way some jokes seem to be at the expense of the very police Greenfield is promoting. An example is how the real police in the film seem to have been all born at night and cannot pick up on the fact these two are not real cops. Robert Riggle is their only friendly liaison as Officer Segars, and even he can’t pick up on these two as frauds. There is the local lady, Josie (the simply stunning Nina Dobrev) who is a special effects make up artist that works as a server at Georigie’s Restuarant where the local mob boss, Mossi, is trying to take over. Mossi is played with real malevolence by British actor James Simon D’Arcy. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of his character since he gives the film some weight as well as Andy Garcia as the chief of police. These are both characters that really could have used some more development.
As it stands, this is Johnson and Wayans’ film. These two are a terrific team. They are funny filled with energy and seem to have a blast on screen. It is too bad these characters are relegated to a recycled plot that has been done before and far better. What do you want to wager they have to act like real cops to bring down the bad guys? Will one of the fake cops win Josie’s heart and will everything happen in predictable style? Luke Greenfield and Nicholas Thomas have written a sometimes clever and witty script but in the end, Let’s Be Cops gets bogged down by its own cliches and predictability. This film was produced on a seventeen million dollar budget and ended up grossing over 82 million dollars at the box office. Not too shabby. Maybe the sequel will be written better with some added depth. Still, there are far worse ways to spend an evening.