Let’s Be Cops (2014) Review – Morally Dubious Film


Let’s Be Cops was directed by Luke Greenfield who is better known for TV films and has no track record in motion pictures.  He co-wrote the script with Nicholas Thomas who hasn’t had a writing credit since 2008 when he was a contributing writer to a TV film Caught in The Action.  It stars Jake Johnson who has appeared in Bad Neighbours (2014 ) and Damon Wayans Jnr who was in The Other Guys (2010).

The duo are essentially a pair of losers.  Johnson plays Ryan who is presented as an out of work actor who has been living off a herpes commercial for two years while Wayans Jnr plays Justin who is a struggling video games designer trying to get his big break.  Justin has got his hands on two Los Angeles (LA) police uniforms as part of his pitch for his latest games idea.  The dynamic duo decide to ware them to what they think is a fancy dress party.  On leaving the party after a miserable evening they notice the attention they are receiving from the ladies.

This prompts the Ryan character to buy a second hand police car from the Internet and fit it out with flashing lights and badges to pass it off as the real deal.  He spends his time watching dubious YouTube videos on how to be a cop.  He somehow persuades Justin to tag along for the ride which seems fun at first and surprise, surprise, they find themselves out of their depth and in trouble with a local hoodlum.

What we learn about the pair is that Ryan is a really screwed up ex college football star who didn’t make it because of an injury (and the fact he is five foot nothing) and has been unable to find anything to fill the void.  Justin on the other hand is a spineless coward who seems unable to resist any of Ryan’s suggestions despite researching the penalty for impersonating a police officer and saying repeatedly they need to stop what they are doing.

This film has a morally dubious centre.  The characters think nothing of smoking a joint, drinking a shot or five before climbing into a car and driving off.  Justin lies about his job to land himself his dream girl while Ryan becomes increasingly obsessed about the character he is inhabiting and starts to promote himself through the police ranks.  Part of the shtick with the Ryan character is that he likes older women.  Not clear what this adds to the plot but it allows the film to include an ‘amusing’ reference to him sleeping with a 55 year old woman.

To top it all off they get away with their actions with the exception of a few bruises.  Ryan decides to join the LA police although I want to know how nobody else recognises him from his antics in the police station?  Justin finally get his break-through and keeps the girl despite admitting to lying.  Oh, and they learn absolutely nothing from the experience as the final scene has Justin jumping into a police car with Ryan despite saying he shouldn’t as tyres screech and advertising hoardings are run over.  Bring on the awards season.


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