Two buddies, Ryan O’Reilly, Jake Johnson, and Justin Miller, Damon Wayans Jr, are drifters, (one a former college quarterback the other a video game creator) who decide to pretend they are cops for the fun of it. O’ Reilly makes money from the residuals of STD ads while Miller is a video game creator. When Miller loses his nerve during a presentation on a game based on cops he is still left with the uniforms and a sagging sense of self-worth. That night they are invited to a costume party and decide to use the uniforms as costumes.
The party though turns out to be a masquerade party not a real ‘costume’ party. The end result is that all the alumni are sporting suits and careers while they are left looking like slackers who never did anything with their lives. This is especially evident when O’Reilly sees a film of himself playing college football. When he turns around the room has emptied. The message is that while his former classmates have continued with their lives, and are successful, he is a former big shot, turned loser.
This aspect is further emphasized in another scene in which he is teaching kids how to play football to fill his days. Miller, at the same time finds that his job and its duties have been diminished after his lousy presentation to “note taker”. O’Reilly then takes the idea of pretending to be cops further, since it gives both of them (even though Miller is the one who is the most apprehensive) a sense of self-worth and purpose they had been lacking.
The question is how far will they go? What will happen when and if they have to actually fire a weapon? How long can they continue the farce until someone finds out? And further what would the repercussions be? Would they have to spend time in jail and how long?
This is a fun silly movie, so if that is what you expect, then there are plenty of laughs to fill the screen. Johnson and Wayans Jr. have a nice chemistry together so even when the story lapses into material which is both farcical and cliché, it is never boring. Unlike some movies in which the F bomb is launched every two seconds, this one actually does not do that. Yes, they use foul language, but it is not so plentiful that colors the entire movie.
Rob Riggle as Segars (one of the police officers) is humorous, but for once not a caricature. He brings a depth and nuance to his character which greatly enhances the story. Nina Dobrev as Josie (a waitress and love interest) has a lovely sweet quality to her. (Even though her desire to be a make-up artist is too convenient and fits too easily into the story).
Along the way in their journey to be cops, O’ Reilly and Miller buy a police car on Ebay, as well as the decal that goes on the side, and of course as they go deeper and deeper into the game get caught up in an actual case. Yet, as they do this, suddenly they realize they are over their heads.
The plot twists in this are extremely predictable. We know who the bad guy is from the get go, and in turn, almost exactly what will occur. That is not the point thought. This is a film where you must turn your reason and brain off, let the gags and mayhem take you in and just enjoy the ride.