August 26, 2014

Movie Review: Let's Be Cops

I have to wonder if anyone else thinks it is weird that I was really looking forward to Let's Be Cops? I suspect if any of you know me, you do not find this weird (perhaps odd or questionable), whereas if you do not know me, you likely find this to be very weird. I will admit to finding the trailer humorous and the leads a couple of likable fellows. Combine that with the lack of good comedies this year (Neighbors? Please. A Million Ways to Die in the West? No. Sex Tape? Try again.) and you just don't have much to go on and a desire to laugh at the movies. Don't ask me why I thought this would succeed, but I am glad it does.

Yes, that's right, this movie does succeed. No, it is not the greatest thing in the world, and so far as live action comedy goes this year, I think 22 Jump Street still wins. Still, there is something relatable and likable about this movie, while still having moments that go over the top and are just silly. Do I expect everyone to like it? No, not really, but it is worth giving a shot. Just remember that not every movie needs to be groundbreaking or hilarious from start to finish, it is all right for a movie to simply be.

Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr. (both of New Girl fame) star as longtime friends and roommates Ryan and Justin, respectively. Ryan is unemployed, floating on residuals from a herpes commercial he starred in and Justin works for a video game company but lacks the confidence to pitch his video game concept to the level it deserves. Their story kicks off When Ryan mistakes a masquerade party for a costume party and the two show up in cop costumes, to the amusement of all in attendance. Upon leaving, they discover that people actually think they are cops.

Well, the duo decide to play it up for free drinks and confiscated weed, but then something unexpected happens. These wannabe cops stumble across some actual crime being committed by some powerful gangsters. They unwittingly become targets through their wannabe actions. This is where the two friends begin to change somewhat, and the movie turns into a weird version of Lethal Weapon where Riggs and Murtagh are just pretending to be cops as they fight real crime. Justin tries to reign things in, play it safe due to his apparent confidence issues, while Ryan goes in all the way, buying equipment and actually working the case, finding something inside that was missing from his life.

The movie is pretty funny and features good chemistry between the two leads. The characters are not exactly deep, but they are certainly identifiable. There is something about the confidence issues and the search for self that hits home and works with the high concept comedy. For a movie that is hardly believable, it remains more or less grounded in a reality that makes it that much easier to get into. I see a little of myself in the confidence issues. This was my way in and it held my interest and my attention throughout.

There is no denying it is silly, shallow, and not all that insightful. With all of that aside, the characters are all likable, real, and funny. Let's Be Cops is fun diversion in a summer that has been largely devoid of worthwhile comedy. Perhaps it is liked as much as it is by me due to severely crippled comedic expectations, but nor entirely. Give it a shot, you may be surprised by what you find.


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