Let’s Be Cops
Director: Luke Greenfield
Starring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr., Rob Riggle
104 mins; Class 15;
KRS Releasing Ltd
Just when I thought the ‘buddy cop movie’ had hit rock bottom early this year with Ride Along, it actually succeeds in falling even further with Let’s Be Cops, a dull, lame, sexist and predictable ‘comedy’ ticking the wrong boxes.
Comedians Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr – both of whom unforgivably leave the comedy at home – star as best buddies Ryan and Justin.
One keeps moping about the football career that never took off; the other is working at a video-game company where his artistic talents are not appreciated. Unlucky in life and in love, the two attend a costume party dressed as cops.
The party doesn’t go too well, but once on the streets, they notice women eyeing them up, bad guys avoiding them… and they get free drinks at bars.
“Let’s be cops!” shouts Ryan eagerly, intending to keep up the charade for the night, the next day and beyond.
“Erm, um, no, but...,” mumbles Justin, in a conversation that sets the tone for virtually every exchange that follows between the two. They go through scenes with nothing resembling plot, narrative or character depth ever threatening to surface.
Nothing resembling plot, narrative or character depth
Like the majority of characters that feature in this sort of film, Ryan suffers from a serious case of arrested development and thinks nothing of the mayhem and destruction they cause as the fake cops ‘patrol’ the streets. In the meantime, Justin is too much of a wimp to put his foot down, too busy trying to woo the girl of his dreams, waitress Josie (Nina Dobrev).
The baddies are generic Euro-villains with sneering attitudes and bad accents. Justin’s bosses are obnoxious yuppies. Worst of all, every single one of the women in the film is there merely for decoration or to be the butt (pun intended) of sexist jokes.
In one particularly cringe-inducing scene, Josie dances sexily – read uncomfortably – in a bland attempt at seduction.
The only female cop is a grouchy, middle-aged woman who at one point reprimands the fake cops’ antics with “It’s not funny!”.
This is by far the best line in the movie, summing up this overlong, under-funny attempt at humour which also involves young kids using foul language and a subplot involving a store break-in and a naked sumo wrestler.
Maybe because the film-makers realised they had a dud on their hands, at one point the film attempts to teach a moral lesson about violence in video games and movies.
But this is long past the point at which the film should have ended, and our only reaction can be, “Let’s be out of here”.