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Movie Review: 'Let's Be Cops' pretends to be funny

Let's Be Cops was released August 13th, 2014
Theatrical release poster

Let's Be Cops

Rating:
Star1
Star
Star
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Star

"Let’s Be Cops" is a recent comedy film starring Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. When college buddies Ryan (Johnson) and Justin (Wayans) go to their costume reunion party, they begin to reflect on their lives, and realize their success is far from where they had hoped it would be by their age. After leaving the party dressed as cops, residents take their outfits as genuine and believe them to be real cops. Seeing the positive outcome of this, the two decide to repeat this and begin impersonating the law.

The benefit of pretending to be cops is what drives the two buddies to continue the charade, but what really motivates Justin (who is much more hesitant than Ryan) is love interest Josie (Nina Dobrev). Josie is a local waitress whose parents are having trouble with mysterious Russian men who appear to be trying to strong arm them into taking control of their restaurant. When Justin and Ryan get involved in this ordeal--still pretending to be cops--they soon realize they are involved in something much bigger, and vow to figure out what is going on.

The film’s plot isn’t entirely lacking, as it has some intrigue, but it just doesn’t go to its full place of comedy that it has the potential to. It seems to be a watered down version of "21" or "22 Jump Street" with lesser known actors. Sure, it has its funny moments, but they’re too few and far between to make a major impact. Rob Riggle (Officer Segars) does a good job at his bit, but that’s expected of him, and is again reminiscent of the humor in the "Jump Street" films.

There are a few unexplained and unnecessary moments in "Let's Be Cops," making it seem like there was too much of an attempt to be funny and not enough payoff. Every scene in a film needs to have a purpose to the overall spectrum of telling the story. If a scene is not important or doesn’t provide insight into what is happening or to who a character is, it becomes a deleted scene. "Let’s Be Cops" failed to delete those scenes, and instead pasted them together in an effort to distract viewers with humdrum humor.

Overall, this was a comedy film with no real purpose. It had some laughable moments, and the chemistry between the two main characters worked, but the comedy shtick was lacking too much to make this a staple in its genre. Maybe there wasn’t enough depth and the plot was too linear and predictable, but this film isn’t one that will be remembered for long. It’s a shame, too, because the lead actors did all they could with what they were given. Unfortunately, they weren’t given much, if anything at all.

Final grade? D