Luke Greenfield, the man who bought us The Girl Next Door, The Animal and Something Borrowed, is back, but this time bringing the lovable pairing of Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. popularised by the television show, New Girl.
The film really doesn’t have a riveting storyline, but then again, not many nonsensical comedies in recent times have done. Most of the popular ones are stories of something that simply gets out of hand, for example, The Hangover, Horrible Bosses, 21 Jump Street and Bad Neighbors spring to mind.
Let’s Be Cops (2014) follows this framework with the two friends, Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Damon Wayans Jr.) using authentic police uniforms as a costume, but eventually begin to impersonate them as they realise everyone believes they’re cops. As I mentioned though, the situation seemingly gets out of hand, with Ryan enjoying the rush out of wearing the uniform and Justin panicking about the repercussions that could occur when impersonating cops.
With comedies such as Let’s Be Cops there is always an underlying issue with the protagonists, with Ryan and Justin, it’s a matter of the direction in their life. Ryan is the immature, never taking responsibility character, whereas Justin is more of a voice of reason, however is a pushover when it comes to his job, trying to sell his game ‘Patrolman L.A.’. This tone is immediately set with them saying they were going to move back to Ohio if they hadn’t of “made” it by the time they were thirty. Guess what? They’re thirty.
Okay, so the situation getting out of hand? What do you think would be the most overused thing they could’ve used? Getting involved in with a seedy gang from a foreign country? You got it! Ryan’s car is hit by the gangsters early on and with these uniforms they decide they can play with their new found power and try to stop the gangsters intimidating the local neighbourhood (And the love interest of Justin, Josie being pestered by the Albanian gangsters leader, Mossi Kasic).
Comedy being the main basis of the film, most of the comedy comes from the bromance relationship between Ryan and Justin. Of course, with this bromance there is the petty arguments in which they engage in fisticuffs. Or the simple act of getting punched in the face for scaring the other one. The duo carry most of the comedy and comes from situations that they either put themselves in, or are found in whilst wearing these uniforms.
I found the casting to be an excellent choice, due to the onscreen chemistry that was already present from shooting New Girl together, however the acting is nothing too special considering the majority of the comedy shown is situational comedy.
It’s always nice to see a comedy that doesn’t try too hard, however with the story broken down, there is too much going on. When broken down, I think there is about four different storylines that could be focused on. As I mentioned about the non-existent confidence for Justin, taking one of the two mini-storylines would’ve been effective for general theme of the two characters finding themselves. That being said, the enjoyment factor was still there for me and found myself chuckling away as the hilarity ensued during the course of just over an hour and a half, which has become a safe zone for length of time with a comedy.