Let’s Be Cops Review

The Plot

When two struggling LA underachievers Ryan & Justin dress up a cops for a fancy dress party they find their surprisingly convincing outfits give them newfound street cred and better luck with the ladies. Embracing their new identities soon lands them in trouble though when they get caught up with real life gangsters

The Good

Jake Johnson has recently climbed out of supporting cast obscurity thanks to his work opposite Zooey Deschanel in small screen hit New Girl. He carries a certain degree of charm over to the big screen, making an effortless fit yet again as a vaguely likable slacker. His cheerful but clearly misguided enthusiasm for life as a pretend cop helps inject a sense of fun into proceedings. A reluctant Damon Wayans Jr. likewise does a fine job in the role of his convincingly nervous sidekick.

The film’s leading pair work well to ring maximum laughs from a script lacking in complexity. To its credit the film never resorts to charmless gross out gags or increasingly implausible blockbuster action, as most of the recent spree of law enforcement themed comedies have done.

The film provides a few memorable moments of physical comedy, mostly sold through Jake Johnson’s gleeful reactions. Brawling with naked thugs, huge hysterical women and bemused gangsters are among some of the typical slapstick delights on offer for your viewing pleasure.

The Bad

Let’s Be Cops takes a very simple comedy concept of mistaken identity and stretches it into an entire feature length adventure. Whilst the film offers occasional laughs, in truth the whole escapade could have been dealt with quite adequately in a single episode of a moderately successful TV sitcom.

It’s also hard to ignore obvious comparisons to the 21 Jump Street franchise. As Let’s Be Cops attempts to ring laughs yet again from the increasingly familiar formula of foolish friends bungling efforts to emulate Hollywood cop movies. The fact that both Jake Johnson and Rob Riggle previously starred in the 21 Jump street films makes the comparisons even more unavoidable.

The film would have undoubtedly benefited from a bigger role for supporting star Andy Garcia and a more convincingly menacing villain than James D’Arcy’s generic hoodie wearing street-thug.

Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. may be watchable buffoons but the film lacks any hint of originality. An attempt to inject some kind of moral lesson into the end of the duo’s predictable adventure whilst casually setting up the possibility of a sequel seems heavy handed and overly ambitious.

The Ugly Truth

Let’s Be Cops is an easy watch and should certainly amuse any fans of recent efforts like 22 Jump Street or Ride Along. Overall a likable leading duo makes this an adequate but forgettable addition to the cop comedy genre.

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