Let's Be Cops is a new buddy cop comedy starring New Girl stars Damon Wayans J.R. and Jake Johnson. The film is written by Luke Greenfield and Nicholas Thomas. The film is also directed by Luke Greenfield, is this the comedy of the summer? Or should we place these filmmakers under arrest?
Story- 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.
Let's Be Cops does what is suppose to do and that is entertain it's target audience. Damon Wayans J.R. plays Justin, a videogame developer who just can't get his game made due to his boss and being overlooked. Jake Johnson plays Ryan a former college football star who way pass his glory days. Both men are pushing early 30's and feel like they haven't really accomplish their goals in life. When they are invited to their college reunion party, they dress as cops and the rest of the movie plays from that concept. The story has an interesting concept it just doesn't pay off well. The story can leave the realm of believability at times. I find it hard to believe that the LAPD will not do background checks on cops they don't recognized. There are many scenes where police protocol or rules are thrown out the window for the sake of a punchline. I'm not saying the movie needs to be grounded in realism, but it needs have some realistic elements. Certain scenes become hit or miss because it has nothing to do with the overall plot. There is a scene of the two main leads at the amusement park riding a roller coaster. Why is this scene in there? Did they cut the line using the badges? Is this scene suppose to establish that cops can do whatever they want? There were a lot of scenes that didn't hit, but for every miss there was hit.
The hits of the film was Damon Wayans J.R. and Jake Johnson having great chemistry together throughout the film. I found their characters to be somewhat relatable. Both men hate where they are at career wise. Both feel like they haven't accomplish anything and that narrative is what kept me entertain. Beyond the jokes and silly slapstick puns this movie had heart character wise. Justin really just want his game made and Ryan is trying to find some self worth. Playing fake cops was a sense of relief from their troubles, that aspect of the story worked well for me.
Acting - As stated Damon Wayans J.R. and Jake Johnson worked very well together. You can really see Damon Wayans S.R. mannerism, signature traits in his son. Nina Dobrev plays Wayans love interest Josie. She does good in the role but unfortunately she's not giving much to sink her teeth into. Her backstory of trying to be a makeup effect artist is not explore enough for you to care. Other highlights are Rob Riggle who plays Segars, Riggle shines in each scene and even has one serious scene which I liked. Finally a cameo by Keegan-Michael Key is the show stealer. Key was hilarious as Pupa. Overall the acting was entertaining enough, some good, some needed more screentime.
Final Thoughts: Let's Be Cops is not going to be for everyone. It has it's moments where you will laugh out loud. The characters are intriguing when tries to take itself seriously. Unfortunatley the film doesn't really hit the mark with it's concept. Still it's something you might want to check out for a matinee or a night with the guys or girls.