Let's Be Cops
Director: Luke Greenfield.
Cast: Damon Wayans Jr, Jake Johnson, Rob Riggle, Nina Dobrev, James D'Arcy, Keegan-Michael Key, Andy Garcia.
MOVIES often make it seem like being a police officer would be awesome fun, what with all the donuts and shooting bad guys and being lauded as heroes.
We all know the reality is far different and that these hard-working men and women have one of the toughest gigs there is.
But the reality of policing is about the furthest thing from the world of Let's Be Cops, an increasingly idiotic but sporadically humourous comedy about pretending to be policemen.
The faux fuzz are Justin (Wayans Jr) and Ryan (Johnson), two down-on-their-luck 30-year-olds who find that dressing up as boys in blue gives them a level of respect and self-confidence that has been lacking from their lives.
These two characters are the best thing in the film - better than the majority of the jokes, the entirety of the plot, the terrible editing, and the gradually improving chemistry between the two leads.
While the whole thing is a loose vehicle for the old "seize the day" theme, Justin and Ryan are more fleshed out and interesting than characters tend to be in these kind of trashy, forgettable comedies.
Justin is rational yet cowardly, his talents as a video game designer held back by his lack of assertiveness, while Ryan is the directionless ex-jock, a victim of his own impulsiveness with his greatest accomplishments far behind them.
They're nothing new, but at least in the hands of Johnson and Wayans Jr (both from TV comedy New Girl) and a semi-literate script Justin and Ryan seem like more than caricatures. The same can't be said for love interest Josie (Dobrev) or sadistic villain Mossi (D'Arcy), but Riggle, Garcia and Key lend good support.
All this helps keep you vaguely interested in a plot that quickly spirals into stupidity as the two pretend policemen find themselves increasingly caught up in their own lie, which starts to be believed by Russian mobsters (who want to kill them) and real police officers (who want to help them).
Given the efforts of Johnson and Wayans Jr, it's a shame the film isn't funnier and didn't have to rely on tired scenarios - women beating up a man, someone being sat on by a naked fat man, the obligatory drug-taking sequence - for what are unfortunately the funniest bits in the film.
Let's Be Cops ends up being mildly chuckle-worthy but inevitably forgettable because the biggest laughs feel like they've come from any of a hundred other pre-existing comedies.