Review: ‘Let’s Be Cops’

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Let’s Be Cops
Starring Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr., Rob Riggle
Directed by Luke Greenfield
Open now
Grade: A-

There is no shortage of buddy cop TV shows or movies, but the beauty of “Let’s Be Cops”is that neither of the main characters are actually cops—just buffoons in uniform.

Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. play two best friends named Ryan and Justin. Two dudes in their early 30s without much going on, they shuffle around through life with pitiful jobs and sad love lives.

In an attempt to get out of the house and be social, they arrive at a masquerade party dressed as cops after Ryan mistakes it for a costume party. Humiliated even further in front of friends, the two leave and start roaming the streets in full costume.

Drunk on the power the outfits give them in public, the duo find themselves in increasingly dangerous situations as they test the limits of their authority. Ryan is the full-blown instigator that thrives on the respect and admiration the uniform gives him, while Justin is worried about being thrown in jail.

Pretty much everything they do in this movie is highly illegal and incredibly funny. Both Johnson and Wayans Jr. have a strong background in improv, making the dialogue in the movie not only fluid but clever and quick.

It also has a good amount of action for a comedy, and once they get their hands on a fake cop car, the movie really kicks into high gear as the two start taking calls they hear on a police scanner.

A solid act on their own with plenty of conflict, seeing Ryan and Justin interact with the world around them is the funniest part of their ridiculous adventure. Along the way, the fake cops run into actual cop Segars (Rob Riggle), drug pusher Pupa (Keegan-Michael Key) and a charmingly skanky woman named Annie (Natasha Leggero).

These side characters nearly steal the show but instead add color and insight to this ridiculous world where no one seems to notice these two dudes are not actually police officers.

Director Luke Greenfield is probably best known for the sexually-charged comedy “The Girl Next Door”in 2004, but as a co-writer of the script, it is hard to believe he had anyone in mind for the role other than Johnson and Wayans.

If it were anyone else, this movie would have fallen flat on its face, but the charm these guys have when being complete idiots is really something worth seeing.

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