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.
My Opinion: I wasn’t expecting anything great when I saw this, particularly since there weren’t any press screenings in the area. But I enjoy Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr. on New Girl, and I love Wayans from his time on Happy Endings, so I figured there would be something for me to enjoy. I should have lowered my expectations more. And not seen this while a serious misuse of police force is going on in this country.
Let’s Be Cops relies on pretty much every buddy cop movie standard, and proceeds to execute each one in standard fashion. For the record, Justin (Wayans) is the grounded one, and Ryan (Johnson) is the crazy one. Ryan’s stupidity in his approach to “being” a cop is only outdone by Justin’s inability to get them both, or at least himself, out of the increasingly dangerous situations in which Ryan gets them entangled. Ryan is insane, and not in a “haha, funny” way. More like, “Why on Earth would anyone want this guy to be a cop?” Part of me questions if I feel this way because of what’s going on in Ferguson, MO this week, but honestly, it’s just frightening.
Beyond that, the film dips pretty regularly into vaguely racist, sexist and homophobic language. It’s like the writers (or the cast) wanted to go for some shock laughs, then stopped when they felt something might go over the line.
Q&A Notes: As mentioned above, there are some vaguely homophobic jokes. Most rely on an assertion of a straight male’s sexuality. Atlantans might recognize some of the outdoor shots; in spite of being set in Los Angeles, the film was shot in Atlanta.