Let’s Be Cops, 2014.
Directed by Luke Greenfield.
Starring Damon Wayans Jr., Jake Johnson, Rob Riggle, Nina Dobrev, James D’Arcy, Keegan-Michael Key and Andy Garcia.
Two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.
I am told that our pretend cop co-stars Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. have some incredible comedic chemistry together on the hit sitcom New Girl, and after watching Let’s Be Cops that is a statement I am inclined to believe. Simply put, their camaraderie is the only thing holding the film together from crumbling down into a total disaster. The core of those problems come from director and writer Luke Greenfield, a.k.a. the talentless schmuck that directed The Animal starring Rob Schneider.
The script he and Nicholas Thomas have scribed together is an awfully paced mess, and one stuffed with too many ideas. The result is a comedy that front-loads itself with “jokes” throughout the first half, while shoehorning a more dramatic plot arc towards the end, primarily because I assume that the writers realized that there should actually be some danger in a film where two complete knuckleheads decide to role-play as cops based off of YouTube advice.
Their motivation for becoming cops isn’t anything new or creative for the genre; our characters are just two losers looking to run away from their mistakes in life by fulfilling a power fantasy of portraying LAPD officers. And for that first half of the movie it makes for some occasionally funny scenes. Our dimwitted protagonists stop citizens from smoking illegal drugs just to take a hit themselves, try to break up a domestic disturbance between sorority girls, and try to win over girls themselves. None of these scenes will have your sides splitting, but they at least provide some fun, which is all anyone should be asking for in a film like this.
Generally put, the first half of the film is more lighthearted and therefore fun. The problem is that the shenanigans also begin to drag on, leaving you salivating for the two idiots to finally get in over their heads. When that happens though, Let’s Be Cops stopped being entertaining and unable to balance comedy with drama, unlike say the Jump Street series.
Now don’t take that statement the wrong way and assume that the first half of Let’s Be Cops will have you crying out in laughter like 21 or 22 Jump Street. This movie isn’t that funny even when it is being entertaining, and often goes for gross-out humor alongside placing the characters in a plethora of uncreative situations. It’s just that as a whole, a movie like Let’s Be Cops makes a riotously funny franchise like Jump Street shine that much more.
Unfortunately, Let’s Be Cops is a movie with the right comedic actors involved, headed by people only capable of making the joke work for only about 30 minutes before everything comes crashing down. To give you an example, this is a movie that places its character’s lives in danger, whilst providing some subtext towards the hardships of getting a video game made without stifling creativity, while trying to be funny. That’s how disjointed and confused this movie is by its end.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. He currently writes for Flickering Myth, We Got This Covered, and Wrestle Enigma. Follow me on Twitter.