Written by Asia Martin
New Girl co-stars Damon Wayans, Jr. and Jake Johnson should be added to Hollywood’s list of popular comedic and crime-fighting male duos for Let’s Be Cops. The movie doesn’t stack up against the modern cult-classics like Harold and Kumar or 21 Jump Street, even though it’s modeled after them. But I’m getting the vibe that Damon and Jake should stick together for a bit.
Let’s Be Cops is about Ryan (Johnson) and Justin (Wayans), two best-friends embarrassed about their lack of success at the age of 30. Ryan is a former college football star living off a Herpes commercial from two years ago and Justin is sitting on a video game he’s afraid to pitch to his boss. The guys dress up like cops for a themed class reunion party and during their walk through the streets of Los Angeles, they discover the perks of being men in blue.
Authority, respect, access to any establishment and instant attraction from women (including Justin’s love interest played by Nina Dobrev) gives Ryan and Justin a false sense of law enforcement and they take it too far and end up in real trouble with real bullets and real criminals.
Director Luke Greenfield (The Girl Next Door), who also co-wrote the movie with Nicholas Thomas (Girls Behaving Badly), lucked out beautifully with Wayans and Jake and even Rob Riggle, who plays Officer Segars. Wayans and Jake deliver the type of comedy I expected from them as an avid watcher of New Girl. Their most memorable comedic scene was when the duo ran into a robbery with real officers and created sorry “click noises” to imitate pulling back the slide on the gun that unbelievably convince the real cops. The only downside to the pair was that it seemed like Wayans was carrying the humor through a few scenes where Jake gave his all to delivering disappointing comedic lines. It was like Wayans was the back up plan when all else failed.
Let’s Be Cops has quite name supporting cast, but they didn’t always pay off. The usually hysterical Rob Riggle actually saves the last segment of the film with some really solid acting. Nina Dobrev, who played the damsel in distress Josie, held her scenes pretty good for someone who usually does dramas. The movie tried hard to transition into different scenes by using odd characters like the informant Pupa (Keegan-Michael Key) and the oversexed tenant named Annie (Natasha Leggero) but, as funny as they were trying to be, they were overkill.
The part that Greenefield and the main cast were really great at delivering is the moral of the story and there were quite a few morals preached. I enjoyed the messages that he portrayed because they rooted the action-packed scenes with a nice dose of seriousness. The theater went from laughter (mainly heard from teenagers who found every vulgar word and scene hilarious) to complete silence as everyone glued their eyes to the screens hoping Ryan, Justin and Segars were going to make it to the end.
I won’t deny that my respect for men in blue went up because as Segars says, “You have to earn that uniform” as he ran off into battle. I’m sure that was the better way of saying “don’t do this at home.” And then I got a nice confirmation on never giving up on your dreams. And I learned I’m not the only one who still blast Backstreet Boys’ ‘I Want It That Way.’ And…it is okay to figure out what else you’re great at when Plan A tanks.
I probably won’t pay to watch you again movie but thanks Let’s Be Cops!