Let’s Be Cops (2014)

Let’s Be Cops (2014)
  • Time: 104 min
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Director: Luke Greenfield
  • Cast: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr., Nina Dobrev, Andy Garcia


It’s the ultimate buddy cop movie except for one thing: they’re not cops. When two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party, they 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.


  • I’m really glad that this movie points out how illegal it is to run around pretending to be a police officer, not to mention how dangerous it would be, because I reckon it’s something people might (and probably already) do. But for Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr. it looks like a lot of fun.

    Justin (Wayans) and Ryan (Johnson) are two losers in their early thirties who wish their life was better. For their upcoming college reunion, they decide to dress as cops because Ryan misunderstood the dress code on the invitation. After they realise the mischief that they can get away with, they keep up the charade for a while until getting dragged into an actual organised crime investigation.

    Read the whole review at http://www.thatothermovieblog.blogspot.com.au

  • Let’s Be Cops is a very straightforward movie. Guys pretend to be cops and get into some shenanigans. Easy plot and one we have seen before. However, we got two talented comedic actors with Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson so this should be a decent time. The movie is predictable and may lack some laughs, but it is an OK time to be had.

    Good: What makes the movie move along are Johnson and Wayans Jr. in the leads. They got chemistry together especially since they both star in New Girl and it shows here. They got some good back and forth and they bring some laughs of their own also.

    Bad: The movie is predictable to a fault. It starts how you think it will and end where you know it should. It doesn’t bring anything new including the jokes which don’t always work and take a dive near the third act. Some jokes tend to be repetitive too which just drags the movie at times.

    Overall, it’s not terrible and it’s not memorable either. It’s an OK time waster for an afternoon.

  • Justin (Damon Wayans Jr.) is a 30 year something year old game designer who wants his game to be made, while Ryan (Jake Johnson) is struggling through life with no real career path. They decide to dress as police officers for a costume party, only to realise people believe they are real cops. But soon enough these “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives and must put their fake badges on the line.

    Let’s Be Cops is a very generic story that has been done to death, with characters who are going through life underachieving or not reaching that goal they’re trying so hard to get, only to be distracted by something that seems good at the time but only leads them into danger. They enjoy the thrill, until it becomes too real, they try to get out of it but it’s too late and are forced to find something inside themselves to not only get out of danger but to use this new found strength to get what they wanted all along. This is not about the story, it’s more about the comedy and the characters, if you don’t enjoy that, you won’t enjoy the film.

    There have been many cop comedies around, arguably started by Bad Boys and over the years none have been so successful, until the reboot of 21 Jump Street in 2012, which gave the cop comedy a much needed revival. Now it’s Let’s Be Cops turn to try and achieve what so many have…
    To read the full review click here.

  • If you’ve seen the trailer for 2014’s Let’s Be Cops, well you’ve probably seen the whole movie. Man I hate when that happens. All the best parts are shown and every major plot point is touched upon (in 2 to 2 and a half minutes give or take). I think if I avoided seeing any teaser clip, any advertisement, or anything posted on YouTube, I probably would have embraced “Cops” a little more. It would’ve been fresh and not completely objectionable or off-putting. Indeed this is a goofy comedy that takes the notion of “it’s so stupid, it’s funny” to almost catastrophic levels. And its implausibility factor is even further off the charts. I mean how else do you explain two knuckleheads actually being able to impersonate police officers for what seems like a long period of time. In reality, they would have been arrested in less than a day (they drive an unmarked police car that was bought online sans license plate, are you serious?!). Bottom line: this is a movie that knows it’s gonna be loathe by critics, it knows that it’s not a work of art, and frankly, it probably even knows that it’s a steaming pile of crap. Here’s the thing though: it doesn’t care. And even in the moments when things turn dark and violent (there is a strength in what’s on screen and it involves escaping the aspect of being a one joke vehicle, especially towards the last half), Let’s Be Cops still never seems to want to take itself seriously. It’s hip-hopped, weed toked, lacks logic (not to mention a public disregard for human safety or decency), and blatantly just wants to have fun. There in lies its morbid problem despite a few funny moments.

    Directed by the guy who brought you the wretched Something Borrowed (New York native Luke Greenfield) and harboring a little less gross-out humor than I initially thought would occupy such a movie (a scene with a naked sumo wrestler however, will give you the heebie-jeebies), Let’s Be Cops focuses on two L.A. residential sad sacks in Ryan O’Malley and Justin Miller (played by New Girl tandem Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr.). They live together, have few friends, are stuck in lousy jobs (at least one of them anyway), and spend their nights getting drunk and singing karaoke tunes (The Backstreet Boys “I Want It That Way,” seriously?). When they go to a costume party billed as their college reunion (they dress up as police officers and it’s a masquerade party not a costume party, oops), they become embarrassed, chat up a few people, and leave. Anyway, as they’re are walking the street back to their car, they notice that people really think that they’re cops. Girls stair at them (which is nice) and guys make a path for them. Basically, they have absolute power so they decide to run with it. Johnson’s O’Malley becomes the ring leader of this operation. He takes total control by buying a police car on eBay (uh huh), learning police codes and procedures from YouTube videos, and also learning law enforcement fighting techniques (also from YouTube videos which I guess, have less than 500 views, interesting). Miller and O’Malley continuously go out on the town and use their police powers to do a number of asinine things. They even somehow get a radio in their car which actually disperses them to real police calls. Of note: Miller and O’Malley get a domestic disturbance call from two sorority sisters and are the only cops that show up. You’d think that actual L.A.P.D. badges would get there before them or at the same time. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, right? Anyway, these two lunkheads despite being oblivious to the concept of doing real prison time, continue to exercise their fake police powers even as they get caught up/entangled with the local mob. This is when things turn a little dark, a little violent, and uneven (kind of like what went down in director Greenfield’s earlier effort, The Girl Next Door).

    Now despite being overly juvenile and having a movie IQ of possibly 7, Let’s Be Cops still manages to have somewhat of a fairly likable cast. I especially liked Andy Garcia playing the icy Detective Brolin. I’m not sure whether he played an actual mob boss or an undercover detective posing as a mob boss. Regardless, he is quietly cool and it was great seeing him on screen again. Then we have Damon Wayans, Jr. (son of veteran comedian Damon Wayans) playing the reserved, conservative, and confidence-deprived Justin Miller. Wayans, Jr. looks like his dad, acts like his dad, and harbors some of the same mannerisms. He even does a solid job with the demands of physical comedy as well (there’s a scene where he falsely interrogates some bad guys and his character makes them do some scandalous, suggestive dance moves, funny stuff). Nina Dobrev as Josie, is pretty appealing as the love interest. That leaves Jake Johnson in the lead playing a real doozy of a character in Ryan O’Malley. Listen, I think Jake Johnston is a pretty good actor. He’s paid his dues and I’m happy that he finally gets to tackle a real top-billed role (as featured here). He’s like the everyman of comedy. He doesn’t look like a movie star. He just looks like a normal person aka the dude you would just see walking down the street. You know the guy who’s wearing a robe, a wife beater, with a cigarette in his mouth, having a pair of loafers on, and going to buy the daily newspaper. He gives a decent performance but I can’t dismiss how messed up his character is. His O’Malley has a real screw loose. He was supposedly a former college football quarterback even though his personality and stocky frame suggest otherwise (there’s no way in the world he would even come close to playing football at Purdue). His character also doesn’t work except for a stint doing a commercial about genital herpes (he gets paid $11,000 dollars for said commercial and lives off this money for five years, yeah right). Basically, no matter how much jail time he’s looking at for impersonating a cop (we’re talking about 15 years as the film suggests), he still doesn’t give a hoot. What’s worse is that he drags his poor, luckless roommate with him on this totally illegal excursion. Of note: Johnson’s O’Malley tries to run over some kids playing football in a nearby park (what the?!!?) and even at the end of the film, he’s somehow able to continue being a cop, get sworn in as a cop, and drive a cop car for reasons I just couldn’t figure out. Frankly, this dude doesn’t need to be on the streets fighting crime. He needs help, professional help in some sort of institution if you know what I’m saying.

    In conclusion, I mentioned at the beginning of this review that Let’s Be Cops had that “it’s so stupid, it’s funny” vibe to it. Unfortunately, the humorous overtones were way more “stupid” than “funny”. Yeah I laughed and chuckled a few times, but I couldn’t help but label “Cops” a second rate Harold & Kumar flick that seemed to be on autopilot (Damon Wayans, Jr. plays a version of straight man Harold to Jake Johnston’s ludicrous adaption of Kumar). Also, I felt like a lot of the gags and jokes relied on bad language as a mask for generating laughs. As a result, “Cops” holds back somewhat on the funny when it could have pushed the envelope more in the vein of say, 2012’s 21 Jump Street. Oh well, I did like the title though. Let’s Be Cops has a certain simplicity and a catchiness to it. Too bad what’s on screen couldn’t back things up a bit more. Let’s Cop Out is more like it.

    Rating: 2 out of 4 stars

    Check out other reviews on my blog: http://www.viewsonfilm.com

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