Thursday, 13 November 2014

Film Review: Let's Be Cops

Let's Be Cops is buddy-cop comedy with a twist - these dudes ain't cops. Starring Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr as two thirty-somethings going nowhere in life who decide to pose as police officers, Let's Be Cops has a cool premise that struggles to extend beyond the first half-hour.

After mistakenly going to a masquerade party dressed as cops, two buddies, Ryan and Justin, decide that they'll put their stalling careers aside and continue to impose 'the law', as well as utilise the uniform to pick up chicks.

After buying a squad car on eBay, the duo hit the streets - responding to police radio calls, intervening with crimes - and stripping in clubs, of course. It's all good fun, but soon the consequences of their antics start to catch up with them, as you'd expect.

When I saw the trailer for this film, I instantly thought to myself, "that's a cool premise for a comedy". When translated to the big screen, not too much of that 'premise' consistently delivers chuckle-worthy material. Some of it is golden, but the best of the jokes were certainly shown off in the promos.

The whole set-up doesn't stretch as far as it should, and the 90-minute runtime suddenly starts to feel a bit drawn out near the end. The bulk of the 'best bits' glimpsed in the trailers come in the first 45 minutes, and after that, the joke starts to wear a bit thin.

What I'm trying to say is, the whole film kind of feels like a Key and Peele skit that got out of hand - at 10 - 15 minutes, it'd be pitch perfect. Instead, we get burdened with your standard set of subplots - cliched Eastern European mobsters, and a very forced love story between Wayans Jnr and Jose, played by Nina Dobrev.

The lead duo certainly share an infectious chemistry, something which no doubt carries over from their fantastic work on New Girl as Nick Miller and Coach. Johnson, as is the case on the show, carries the bulk of the jokes with Wayans Jr playing more of the 'straight guy'. In fact, Johnson is in his element as the laid-back, underachieving slob who lets his imagination run away with him. He's essentially playing the same character as on New Girl, but he does it so well so it's kind of okay.

All in all, this is a fun flick that charges out of the gates full of energy, before rapidly evaporating into thin air. I'm not quite sure how they could've extended the life of what is essentially a SNL skit, but there you go. A lot of the superfluous stuff (Dobrev, Ryan's failed football career) just detracts from the clever, inconsequential antics.

My recommendation - check it out if you're a fan of the cast, and appreciate it for what it is. It's certainly not the most memorable or consistently funny comedy this year, but it has its moments.

The Verdict: 4/10

It's implausible, irreverent and the jokes are intermittent, but Let's Be Cops is a pretty good time if you just roll with it. Maybe skip the theatre and wait for the DVD.


  1. I was expecting this to be so bad, but there were a few laughs. It felt too 'New Girl' for me though, like their characters decided to quit their jobs and go film a movie. Good review.

    1. Yeah, I think that pretty much sums it up! Don't get me wrong, I love New Girl (especially Nick Miller) - but this film just didn't consistently deliver. Thanks for commenting! :)

  2. Yeah, this was okay, with a few good jokes, but it does lose steam pretty fast, and forgets itself in the end. Nice review, Rhys. :)

    1. Thanks Chris :) I pretty much zoned out near the end of this one, which is never a good sign...



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