MOVIE REVIEW – Loser duo impersonates cops in new film, delivers comedy

by Jamil Oakford/se news editor

Being a cop may not seem like a cool job in light of recent events, but there’s one thing that can’t be mistaken on the arrival of the latest slap-stick comedy flick: It sure looks cool.

The movie stars Jake Johnson (New Girl, 21 Jump Street) as post-fading college football star Ryan and Damon Wayans Jr. (The Other Guys, Happy Endings) as Justin, a 30-year-old assistant at a videogame software company. 

A youth is stopped by Jake Johnson, right, in his police costume for smoking on the street during the film Let’s Be Cops. Instead of arresting offenders, however, he smokes with them.   Photo courtesy Twentieth Century Fox

A youth is stopped by Jake Johnson, right, in his police costume for smoking on the street during the film Let’s Be Cops. Instead of arresting offenders, however, he smokes with them.
Photo courtesy Twentieth Century Fox

Both guys, down on their luck, are in a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant singing when the movie begins.

But things turn up when they go to a college reunion party. Fresh off his videogame pitch rejection, Justin isn’t looking forward to the evening, but Ryan rallies him in and they go as cops, wearing full regalia.

“It’s all real, except for the guns. They don’t fire,” Justin says.

Afterward, walking the streets of Los Angeles still dressed as cops, people part like the Red Sea, and they begin testing their power.

By the end of the night, of course, after banishing these large, fearsome men whom Ryan had a hit-and-run with earlier in the story from their local eatery, they decide one thing: They want to be cops.

Even if the badge numbers don’t match and the nametag for Justin reads “Chang,” this quickly turns into a buddy/cop flick, and, in a sweetly hilarious way, funnier than most found in the comedy genre.

Johnson and Wayans pull from a chemistry that’s amazingly strong.

They both have impeccable comedic timing, and Johnson actually carries a good amount of the film, his character proudly carrying around his children’s “mentoring” program in football and his two-year-running herpes commercial.

Viewers can find some comedic value in Ryan’s enthusiasm to make this whole faux-cop operation as legitimate as possible. And somehow, things only get funnier, the more serious the problems get as the movie progresses.

At times, the comedy gets a little too forced. A stakeout scene that takes place mid-movie is funny, but it doesn’t seem as natural as Ryan’s earlier scene in a field of children mentoring them in football.

And it is in these dry spell moments that viewers might find themselves wanting to skip ahead a bit.

All in all, it’s a good movie. It delivers on the crazy factor, and with minor recurring appearances from Rob Riggle and Keegan-Michael Key, the movie isn’t devoid of laughs. Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries) delivers a good performance as Justin’s love interest.

It’s not necessarily a movie that has to be seen in theaters, but if the need for a comedy or a fun way to kill a couple of hours calls, don’t pass up this film.