Review: Let's Be Cops
Like Superbad meets 21 Jump Street, but with a little less originality
*Disclaimer: The version screened on April 15th was an early cut of the film, and will likely be edited and fine tuned before its August release.
Let's Be Cops is an upcoming action comedy about two friends who decide to dress up as police officers. That's pretty much the whole premise. As a result, they get mixed up with some real life gangsters, and theres some character growth and a love story thrown in on the side. The real draw is the dynamic of the two buddies having fun pretending to be cops.
Starring Damon Wayans Jr and Jake Johnson (both from New Girl), both actors have great comedic timing and chemistry with each other. While the situations they are placed in can devolve into slap-stick, random, or edgy for the sake of being edgy, they remain likable characters. Joining them are an underused Rob Riggle (21 Jump St) playing a real cop, and Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries) who isn't given much funny material either.
Luke Greenfield (The Girl Next Door) directs this film with moderate success. While not all of the jokes hit, there are quite a few hilarious moments, and it's an overall enjoyable ride. He makes sure to include lots of cool slo-mo shots set to an awesome soundtrack consisting mostly of rap songs that are really fun to watch and listen to.
The films takes a pretty surprising shift in tone in its third act. While the violence had seemed seemed more lighthearted at the beginning, it becomes graphic and gory. There are some very well shot action sequences, but they are dark, and we are shown severe consequences of the violence. The gangsters feel like a genuinely scary threat to the antagonists, and this is someone unexpected when compared to the lighter tone of the first have of the film.
Overall, Let's Be Cops is a really fun ride. While its plot feels a little underdeveloped and some comedic moments meant to shock you fall flat, there's still plenty to like about this movie, especially Johnson and Wayans Jr, who are just a lot of fun to watch.
Let's Be Cops comes out August 13, 2014.