We’ve seen the dynamic duo comedies, where two guys do some extreme stunt to get some cheap laughs. Where these types of movies use to have some clarity and boundaries, the past two decades however have made those boundaries very thin. The result of removing boundaries is over the top comedies, where law breaking and often alcohol drives a curse-laden dialogue. So when Let’s Be Cops dawned its awkward looking face into theaters I wondered what was in store. What were my impressions on this comedy? Please read on to find out.
Let’s start out with the premise of the movie. Two typical guys go out one night dressed as cops for a party, and somehow convince an entire populace they are cops. Using the fame and favor of wearing the uniform, the two nobodies become addicted to the attention and abuse it to no ends. I’ll admit that I didn’t expect much from this adventure, but to my surprise Let’s be Cops had a few more kicks to it then I thought. Despite what the trailers paint, there is a little bit of a story to the madness. This film has some crime drama suspense put in, using a couple of techniques from the various T.V. shows to craft a tale that has all the elements we love. While there is very little mystery to the crime, the collecting of the evidence has a few suspenseful moments that might get you on the edge of your seat. There is a “twist” at one point, but in a comedy like this there really isn’t much room for unpredictable elements, at least not in terms of story. However, there is an action element in this film as well, with a little bit of excitement to help pick up the pace.
As I have mentioned though, this is a comedy movie and you want to know about the laughs. For this reviewer, the laugh factor was much smaller than I had hoped, not because the humor wasn’t there, but because the trailers had shown me a lot of the jokes. A lot of the stupid, slapstick humor is revealed in the various, and overplayed ads on T.V., and after seeing them so many times had lost its edge. Luckily, there were still a few tricks left up their sleeves that gave me a chuckle. Some of the scenes have a little extra factor to them in the movie, often a perfect time song, or joke that couldn’t be aired on the T.V. There are also a few scenes that were still fresh, the dialog and comedic timing rather well done and had me laughing. In particular Justin (Damon Wayans Jr.) is the one that was more entertaining for me, as his style was less extreme and overacted than his partner in crime.
This brings us to our next topic on the characters and the acting. Another surprise to this movie is that there is actually some character development amidst the crazy antics. Jake Johnson’s character was very similar to one like Kevin Hart, very loud and eccentric and with dialog filled with one-liners. He is the instigator of the bad ideas, continuously scheming to push their luck as to how far they can take the scheme. Yet despite his extreme stupidity and shallowness, there is a little bit of moral and motives behind his ideas, though most of this happens at the end. Wayans on the other hand covers the character spectrum a little more, at first being a partner in crime and gradually developing a conscience that makes him a party pooper, but keeps the humor grounded. When he is not trying to douse the flames though, his character has other parts of his life that provide some variety to fake cop stupidity. Girl trouble, job trouble, and confidence issues are all means for jokes, and often ends up with Wayans screaming like a little girl that starts to get a little annoying as the movie progresses. Despite the high pitched wails, Wayans keeps things from getting too crazy and helps establish the slight story in this comedy. Trying to take the limelight away from the two, we have villain Mossi (James D’Arcy) who looks the part of a grade a sleezeball. However, looks are the only thing I can greatly praise this character on, as the acting is a bit monotone and rather overdone. D’Arcy pretty throws grown up temper tantrums and then simply goes cool and creepy. For being such a crime threat, the guy knows how to waste bullets as well, often blindly spraying lead without even trying to aim. Rob Riggle also makes an appearance in this movie and does a nice job playing the cop that again offsetting the comedy and low I.Q. of the rest of the city. Yet my favorite part of this movie is actress Nina Dobrev. A combination of beauty and smarts, Dobrev’s character has some attitude, some diversity, and a decent foothold in the overall dynamic of the movie. While definitely the greatest performance I have ever seen, she did nice job being “the girl” and defying the typical damsel in distress we often see.
Let’s be cops is pretty much what the trailers promised, over the top, stupid antics condensed in a two hour time period. It’s got a few more surprises to it, but the trailers have given you most of what is in store for this movie. Is it worth a trip to the theater? For this reviewer not really, unless you are looking for some time to kill, as there is nothing theater worthy about it. My scores for this feature is:
Movie Overall: 5.5