Sunday, August 17, 2014

“Let's Be Cops” Could've Put In Some More Man-Hours

Many of today's comedies have become incredibly predictable and uniform; they tend to have the same kind of plot, characters, jokes, and endings. They may not offer anything new, but they aren't particularly bad or offensive either, and they certainly deliver on their promise, which is to provide at least a few laughs. The latest offering, fresh off the assembly line, is “Let's Be Cops.”

The plot revolves around two friends, Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Damon Wayans Jr.) who moved to LA to make it and found that they've hit thirty and don't have much to show for it. Ryan is a former athlete whose promising career was cut short by an injury, and is now a failed actor, while Justin is a video game designer who can't seem to get his ideas approved by his boss. But when they dress up as cops after they're invited to a friend's party, they find out that they like the attention and confidence they get when everyone mistakes them for the real thing.

This leads Ryan to take it further, and he decides to buy a cop car and taking it upon them both to assist real cops in taking down a dangerous crime boss. Will their incompetent antics and zany adventures lead to lessons learned, a bad guy defeated, jumpstarting their lives and Justin getting the hot love interest (Nina Dobrev of “The Vampire Diaries”)? Hmm.

But there are a few good things to be found here. Two really. The movie's only saving grace is the chemistry between the two leads, who both manage to elevate this rather lazy effort through sheer talent and force of will, but just barely. They're the reason you actually laugh. I'd say this is another movie whose best scenes are in the trailer, but even that isn't possible, since bad editing means that even some of those are removed. But luckily, along with our two leads there are also a few side characters such as Rob Riggle and Keegan-Michael Key to take up the slack, as well as a few good action scenes that actually try to be realistic about how normal people might react under pressure.

Nothing special. But then, “Let's Be Cops” doesn't promise anything special. Must be why what it delivers doesn't feel like much of a letdown.

Grade: C-

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