Monday, 29 December 2014

Let's Be Cops

Arresting my attention this month on Blu-Ray and DVD is the new cop-but-not-cop buddy movie Let’s Be Cops. Directed by Luke Greenfield and starring Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. as two friends who, due to a collection of incidents, end up unprofessionally pretending to be cops and fighting a Russian mafia syndicate…or something.

Ryan O’Malley (Johnson) is an ex semi-professional Football star, or American Football star as he’d be known everywhere else, who injured himself and has since spent the following eight years doing very little work and moping like a boss about his injury. Good moping means living life as fast and as ridiculously as possible, going with the flow, grinding other peoples gears and other things like that. 

Justin Miller (Wayans Jr.) is a video game designer with a passion for making good video games, but no motivation to assert himself and get anything he’s designed published. Partly because he’s constantly pressured and actively ignored by his boss played by Jon LaJoie off of ‘Show me your genitals’ and ‘E=MC Vagina’ from Youtube.

A slight misunderstanding leads them both to appearing at a party dressed up as cops, and as they are leaving they realise that all the girls in the world suddenly want to get their juices flowing all over their cop uniforms and this leaves the guys hungry for more similarly positive attention. Unfortunately a bit of pissing about leads to the bad kind of attention from some dodgy Russian blokes who want to plonk a few bullets into their bodies. So this mixed in with hilarious situations caused by their illegal behaviour leads to what is essentially quite a good film.

I started watching this film expecting it be no better than Observe and Protect, featuring the useless and unfunny Seth Rogen, but instead it ended up being much more akin to Pineapple Express featuring the fabulously talented and hilarious Seth Rogen. When I first watched it in the cinema I had never seen New Girl, now that I have it’s clear that these two were gonna play the parts perfectly. Johnson and Wayans Jr. have really good on screen chemistry ,I felt they were very convincing and really fun. Something about Jake’s constant smiling in the face of danger was endlessly charming and funny in contrast to the more realistic but put upon grimace of Wayans Jr. The characters were very believable but the script was over the top and ridiculous which I think worked very well, especially since Johnson had taken a small step away from his usual ‘nice charming rom-com guy’ role, into this slightly more mentally unstable version of that.

The only negative things I would say about the film is that the jokes were quite far apart, and I felt the film was more amusing than funny most of the time. I can safely say that nothing annoyed me more than Wayans Jr.’s character seemingly not understanding any video game terminology whatsoever. While describing a game he was demonstrating he said something along the lines of ‘this bit would be good if this cop and the other cop had to work together to clear the level’ could’ve been summed up as ‘Co-op…like Kane and Lynch’ or something to that effect. That’s mainly pedantry though.

Buy Let's Be Cops for the people who like New Girl, and a She and Him album and all be well 3/5.


Dave Roberts

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