'Let's Be Cops' impersonates a comedy
Let’s Be Cops starts as the typical 30-year old male loser/stoner comedy because let’s face it: Men over 30 who haven’t made it yet never will, and they deserve to be shipped off to the Heartland of the United States to wallow in whatever it is that the male equivalent to old, poor spinsters do. So basically, the film insults its target audience – men who want to remain boys for the rest of their lives – but then it morphs into a hardcore buddy cop film, even if the two main characters aren’t really cops.
There are some truly funny sequences even if the viewer finds breaking the law and drugs unsuitable material for jokes (because impersonating a police officer is no joke and it has led to some pretty messed up things).
The second part of the film turns to action, which is used to drive home the point that actually being shot at is no fun. IT is enough fun to make a video game about and to get over to become a police officer, but the narration at least tries to make a point even if the film takes it away. The action sequences are good because, in the end, these are two ordinary guys trying to make good and clean up the mess that they stepped into.
While Jake Johnson is totally unbelievable as a failed quarterback with NFL level talent, he is good at playing a clueless jock trying to get his college days back. Daman Wayans Jr. does a credible job of being the timid video game programmer.
The real performances come from Natasha Leggero, typecast from her Yahoo! Series Burning Love. Who knew that could happen? It is a terrible role to be typecast in, but if it’s paying the bills, then good for her. She does the sex-starved, over the top, possible on drugs or alcohol thing well. Keegan-Michael Key has the funniest role in the film, and Rob Riggle does a stellar, and surprisingly nuanced, job as the straight-laced, clued in Officer Segars. James D’Arcy is a truly scary bad guy.
This film is about boys being driven by their man parts, which, as far as the movies, is never a good thing. However, the story of friendship and the sense of honor that the characters reveal does redeem Let’s Be Cops. Viewers who do not expect an all-out comedy, in spite of the advertising campaign and the Wayans name and are okay with ball sac humor, will be fine.
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