WRITTEN BY: Luke Greenfield, Nicholas Thomas
DIRECTED BY: Luke Greenfield
STARRING: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr, Rob Riggle, Nina Dobrev, James D'Arcy, Andy Garcia
RATING: 2.5 stars
I was expecting Let's Be Cops to be really bad. So low were my expectations that after not wanting to fall asleep or walk out of the cinema, I almost believed that I liked it – until I properly reflected on what I had seen. The film does not have any laugh-so-hard-that-you-cry moments, but nor will you cringe with embarrassment at its woefulness or roll your eyes at its ridiculousness. It is definitely silly and at times it feels like a series of short sketches thrown together. However, it is also fun and has a likeable cast. If you are willing to go along with the story, you might enjoy it.
Former football hopeful turned unemployed actor Ryan (Jake Johnson) and game-maker Justin (Damon Wayans Jr) are 30 years old and have not yet achieved certain goals they had set out for themselves when they moved to Los Angeles. One night, the best friends dress up as policemen, but their costumes are so good that everyone thinks they really are officers. The pair decide to milk it for all it's worth, with Justin using it to woo his crush Josie (Nina Dobrev) and Ryan taking it all a little too seriously as he throws his legal weight around in the community. Soon, they get in way over their heads when they get caught up with some local thugs and corrupt detectives.
There is a lot of pressure to be funny when you are part of the Wayans family but Damon is good at delivering humorous lines while also being a believable romantic lead. In fact, he and Dobrev may be one of the most attractive pairings on screen this year. While Dobrev is no Cate Blanchett, she does not need to be in this film and it suits her to play the pretty damsel in distress. Wayans also has great chemistry with Johnson, obviously given their work together on the television show, New Girl. Unfortunately, it was hard at times to separate the film characters from the television characters, particularly for Johnson who plays a similar wayward role in both. Rob Riggle is surprisingly more straight in this film than he usually is in comedies, while Andy Garcia and James D'Arcy are disappointingly reduced to caricature bad guys.
Let's Be Cops is pointless and probably best suited to teenage boys. But if you do not mind a bit of stupidity, it is a fun film.