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Review: Let's Be Cops

Let's Be Cops
Aug. 12, 2014by:
5 10

PLOT: Two down-on-their luck pals (Jake Johnson & Damon Wayans Jr.) pose as cops and get into big trouble with a local gangster, who wants both guys – cops or not – dead.

REVIEW: LET'S BE COPS has a premise that could have been lifted out of an eighties movie. Come to think of it, wasn't there an eighties Judge Reinhold movie with the same idea? OFF BEAT? Yet, while the idea behind LET'S BE COPS didn't inspire much hope, it did have a few things going for it. One is director Luke Greenfield, whose last r-rated comedy was the surprisingly decent THE GIRL NEXT DOOR. The other is that it pairs real-life pals and NEW GIRL co-stars Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr., both of whom have big breakout potential. With word-of-mouth screenings happening all over the place all summer long, could LET'S BE COPS be the sleeper comedy hit we've been waiting for all summer?

If only that was the case. Sadly, while LET'S BE COPS isn't a total loss, it ends up being a pretty weak comedy, with a plot that's tough to invest in, and a tone that's all over the place. Maybe the goal was to turn this into a BEVERLY HILLS COP/ HOT FUZZ style action comedy, but when you're going ultra-goofy for ninety percent of the running time, making a last minute detour into a surprisingly gritty action flick doesn't go down easy.

Worst of all is that the premise doesn't really sustain a 100 minute film. After twenty minutes or so, we've pretty much had our fill of Johnson and Wayans posing as cops. That they stumble into a major arms cartel thanks to Wayans' flirtation with a pretty waitress (Nina Dobrev) stretched the premise to the breaking point, and their investigation, which is no doubt supposed to be “hilarious” is only intermittently funny. Some jokes, like Wayans being forced to smoke crystal meth, are good for a chuckle or two, but the endless scenes of Johnson and Wayans staking out the baddies (led by a goateed Andy Garcia and a buff James D'Arcy) or interrogating Keegan-Michael Key's Lil'Wayne esque informant, drag on and on.

Still, it's not a total loss. The first part of the movie has a few genuine laughs (with many gross-out gags that, while crass, kinda work), and Wayans and Johnson have chemistry to burn. They feel like real-life pals, and their relationship comes off as genuine. In the end, you believe that they would stick their necks out for each other, although the final shootout is almost completely played straight. This would have worked if LET'S BE COPS had been more grounded, like a BEVERLY HILLS COP or STAKEOUT, but it's so zany up to this point that it's comparable to the ending of TURNER & HOOCH, where Hooch all of a sudden takes a shotgun blast to the chest from Craig T. Nelson. It's too jarring, and then following the shootout (with a body count in the double digits) we're right back to being a zany comedy, with a joke ending that begs for a sequel and goofy outtakes. This beats RIDE ALONG, but just by a hair. Johnson and Wayans both have great careers ahead of them, but LET'S BE COPS isn't the best showcase for either of them.

Source: JoBlo.com

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4:27PM on 08/12/2014

I remember

when joblo first posted the trailer and said it looked to be the funniest comedy all year and the trailer itself was a laugh riot. I watched the trailer and did not laugh once and thought to myself....this is funny? I am not surprised that this is the rating it received.
when joblo first posted the trailer and said it looked to be the funniest comedy all year and the trailer itself was a laugh riot. I watched the trailer and did not laugh once and thought to myself....this is funny? I am not surprised that this is the rating it received.
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1:35PM on 08/12/2014
It was originally projected to open to $17MM and close at $60MM. Now? Opening at closer to $30MM and closing at around $100MM. It doesn't matter how the reviews turn out for this one, but I agree with Bumbray- so many of these films feel dissatisfying because of uneven distribution of comedy and serious action.
It was originally projected to open to $17MM and close at $60MM. Now? Opening at closer to $30MM and closing at around $100MM. It doesn't matter how the reviews turn out for this one, but I agree with Bumbray- so many of these films feel dissatisfying because of uneven distribution of comedy and serious action.
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8:26AM on 08/12/2014

This is still the funniest movie of the summer...

If Guardians is the best movie of the summer, Lets Be Cops is the funniest movie of the summer. Though, Guardians was pretty funny, Lets Be Cops is just start to finish laughs and they take the gags to new levels. It never felt stale.
If Guardians is the best movie of the summer, Lets Be Cops is the funniest movie of the summer. Though, Guardians was pretty funny, Lets Be Cops is just start to finish laughs and they take the gags to new levels. It never felt stale.
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1:30PM on 08/12/2014
You Sir just blew my mind.
You Sir just blew my mind.
+0
1:47AM on 08/12/2014
I need a gauge... how did you feel about last years We're The Millers cuz that is what im expecting this to be, a late summer R rated comedy with no big screen stars that surprises at the box office.
I need a gauge... how did you feel about last years We're The Millers cuz that is what im expecting this to be, a late summer R rated comedy with no big screen stars that surprises at the box office.
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12:46AM on 08/12/2014

Just a rip off

Pretty much a rip off of an episode of "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia". I'm pretty sure Jake Johnson bases his career on ripping off Charlie Day anyway.
Pretty much a rip off of an episode of "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia". I'm pretty sure Jake Johnson bases his career on ripping off Charlie Day anyway.
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12:34AM on 08/12/2014
This makes me nervous. This was the funniest trailer I've seen all year. But Chris and I have only ever disagreed about one movie. I really hope this will be the second.
This makes me nervous. This was the funniest trailer I've seen all year. But Chris and I have only ever disagreed about one movie. I really hope this will be the second.
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12:30AM on 08/12/2014
Wasn't expecting a 5....hopefully all of the best jokes weren't used in the trailers, clips, etc.
Wasn't expecting a 5....hopefully all of the best jokes weren't used in the trailers, clips, etc.
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1:24PM on 08/12/2014
How is there still no delete button on JOBLO?!
How is there still no delete button on JOBLO?!
1:24PM on 08/12/2014
They were I saw it last night I didn't laugh once.
They were I saw it last night I didn't laugh once.
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