If you want to get out of the sun, into some air conditioning, have an excuse to eat popcorn, and have your attention diverted for 100 minutes, you could do worse than “Let’s Be Cops.” If you want to see a movie, though, see a movie, not this mildly amusing sitcom stretched to feature length that doesn’t even seem to know it’s a movie.
Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Damon Wayans, Jr.) are 30 year-old roommates unhappy with their station in life and unwilling to do much about it. Justin is a worker bee at a video game company with aspirations to design his own games but not assertive enough to make it happen. Ryan is a layabout still bitter over the injury that cost him a professional football career (yes, we’re asked to believe this of someone who looks like Jake Johnson).
A costume party puts the duo in LAPD uniforms so convincing that citizens as well as real cops mistake them for actual patrolmen. Suddenly two losers who have lived their lives invisible to the world find themselves respected and get their first taste of what it’s like to wield authority. Naturally it goes to their heads and before you know it, they’ve purchased a radio car off of eBay and start take any calls that might get them laid.
The cogs in the wheel of the plot that turn to get these guys into LAPD uniforms is actually pretty efficient. Everything else is pretty much boilerplate. Naturally, our fake cops get in over their heads with real bad guys and lie to The Love Interest (a fetching Nina Dobrev) and ultimately learn some life lessons. Overall, “Let’s Be Cops” is just an exercise in wasting a promising concept.
Wayans and Johnson give it all they have. They have some chemistry and certainly aim to please. That’s not enough to compensate for a story that ceases to make sense as soon as things get serious or the feeble attempt to work Justin’s video game career into the plot.
You’ll be amused here and there and you won’t be bored. Even so, there is absolutely no reason not to wait for the DVD release. You don’t even need to see this on Bluray. The comedy is small and the action scenes are smaller and absolutely pathetic.
The reported budget is $17 million but it looks as though about 20% of that landed on the screen. Moreover, other than Andy Garcia, you’re paying to see TV actors act like TV actors using the word f*ck. There are also more laughs in a single episode of “Barney Miller.”
I wasn’t expecting “Midnight Run.” I was expecting something that resembled a movie.