Let’s Be CopsCultureCinemaMovie reviews
Let’s Be Cops is the latest in a long line of attempts to capitalise on the buddy cop genre that is currently riding a high. Jake Johnson (New Girl) and Damon Wayans Jr (My Wife and Kids) play a couple of all-American lads – albeit washed up and struggling with life, careers and love.
Justin, a failing and rejected video game designer and Ryan, a failing college quarterback, find themselves at a fancy dress party dressed in LAPD outfits. Upon exiting and wandering the all-American streets, they are unexpectedly treated and respected like heroes. Crowds part, ladies swoon and men bow down. Enjoying this new found attention the duo decides to carry on the charade and, like clockwork, hilarity ensues. Floundering and careerless Ryan suddenly feels self-worth, and begins to take the hoax to the next level: “promoting” himself to Sargent, he buys a cop car on eBay (as one does) and the comedic pair start responding to real life police calls. Inadvertently Ryan and Justin get involved with a gang of formidable Russian mobsters, and befriending a real life cop, a variety of shoot ‘em up style shenanigans and close encounters occur as they try to take these gangsters down.
Ryan is abducted in broad daylight, but low and behold, timid game designer Justin comes to the rescue and the duo transform into heroic action-movie styled policemen. Ducking and diving, shooting and shouting, Let’s Be Cops takes the drama up a notch and suddenly becomes very serious: there are dirty detectives and crazy car chases – but will these unlikely lads save the day?
This film attempts to replicate the success of (the now franchise) 21 Jump Street, but director and producer Luke Greenfield (The Animal) falls slightly short. The jokes err on overdone and at times Let’s Be Cops takes itself way too seriously for such an unrealistic and unbelievable premise. The success of the film lies in the natural relationship between our two have-a-go heroes. Johnson and Wayans bounce off each other delightfully and exploit their character weaknesses to endearing and eye-wateringly funny levels. We’ve seen these characters before though: Johnson plays his loveable New Girl character to a tee. Unfortunately the predictable plot lines consistently leave these gifted comics in situations where they struggle to bring the adventure beyond anything more than middle of the road, in an already saturated market.
Let’s Be Cops is released nationwide on 27th August 2014.
Watch the trailer for Let’s Be Cops here: