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Let's Be Cops - Review

Let's Be Cops

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

JAKE Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr make for an arresting double act in buddy-cop comedy Let’s Be Cops but the film itself is a hit-and-miss affair.

Co-written and directed by Luke Greenfield, the story aims to put a different spin on a well-worn idea by having the central partnership at play be only pretend cops.

Hence, after a particularly raucous night of partying while in fancy dress LAPD outfits loser flat-mates and best friends Ryan (Johnson) and Justin (Wayans) decide to keep donning the uniform to continue indulging their wish-fulfilment fantasies.

Things threaten to turn bad, however, when the two fall foul of a local gangster (James D’Arcy) and attract the attention of one of LA’s real cops (Rob Riggle).

Just as he did with past film The Girl Next Door, Greenfield throws too Everyman characters into a seemingly fun situation and then slowly watches as they become increasingly out of their depth, albeit with comedic undertones throughout.

The ensuing mix sometimes strikes an uneven mix between the zany and/or crass and the darker, more serious stuff but it does give rise to some interesting genre subversion while giving it’s two likeable leads plenty to do.

At its best, therefore, Let’s Be Cops has plenty going for it – a winning central chemistry (reminiscent, early on, of the Seth Rogen-Bill Hader pairing in Superbad with a touch of Michael Bay machismo throw in), some good sight gags and one liners and at least two or three genuinely laugh out loud moments.

It’s just a shame that Greenfield struggles to be consistent throughout. By opting to shoot a little too low-brow at times, his film sometimes feels lazy and unfunny and lacks the sophistication of 22 Jump Street, which toyed with genre expectation much more expertly.

Greenfield also wastes some of his supporting players (such as Andy Garcia and Nina Dobrev) and, perhaps even more curiously, edits some interplay between characters extremely carelessly, to the point of distraction.

An overly generous running time also means that the film loses momentum midway through badly. But it does come back with a strong finish that makes a better fist of combining the madcap with the dark (as well as giving Riggle some welcome moments to shine).

As flawed as Let’s Be Cops remains, it still does enough to keep you suitably entertained.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 104mins
UK Release Date: August 27, 2014

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