Let's Be Cops

Directed By: Luke Greenfield

Starring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans, Jr., Rob Riggle, Nina Dobrev, James D'Arcy, and Andy Garcia

Parleying success on the small screen into success on the big screen can be a daunting task.  There's a big difference between holding viewers' attention for 30 or 60 minutes with commercial breaks and holding it for two hours straight. Sure, there are plenty of examples to the contrary including the likes of Jamie Foxx, Martin Lawrence, and Will Smith.  Still, I'd argue that there are far more failures than successes.  This weekend, we may have two more examples in Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr. if their comedy Let's Be Cops is any indication.

Ryan O'Malley (Johnson) is a loser.  Injuring his knee years ago and unable to play professional football, he spends his days "mentoring" kids playing ball at a local park in Los Angeles rather than pursuing gainful employment.  The same can be said about his roommate Justin Miller (Wayans).  A struggling video game designer, Justin is unsuccessful in selling the title Patrolman he recently developed for his employer.  His boss shuts his ideas down and instead opts to pursue a game pitting firefighters against zombies.  Justin is left to take notes.  It's safe to say that neither of these 30 year-olds is living the dream.

As alumni of Purdue, they're invited to a masquerade party in Los Angeles.  Mistaking it for a costume party, Ryan convinces Justin to dress up as a cop with him for the party.  After attending the festivities sporting costumes in error, the two roommates feel like bums relative to their peers.  After departing and hitting the streets, they feel like rock stars.  With girls randomly kissing them and guys freezing on command, they realize that people on the streets actually see them as real police officers.  With this in mind, they opt to continue the act and impersonate police officers, Bryan takes it a bit farther than Justin expects, and they make an enemy out of deadly criminal Mossi Kasic (James D'Arcy).  Meanwhile, Justin pursues waitress Josie (Nina Dobrev) as Ryan befriends Patrol Officer Seagars (Rob Riggle).

I've got nothing good to say about Let's Be Cops.  I can't remember a single moment in the film during which I was overcome with laughter. The writing for this action comedy is hackneyed at best.  The performances are underwhelming to say the least.  The comedic setups from director Luke Greenfield are unbelievably stale.  All in all, Let's Be Cops is one colossal let-down devoid of humor or anything else that would spark a viewer's interest.  The curse of August movies strikes again.  Guardians of the Galaxy and The Giver are anomalies in a wave of mediocre movies.

Our two leads are definitely disappointing.  Both play on their personas as Nick and Coach on New Girl, and I, like most, would prefer Max Greenfield's Schmidt any day of the week.  For his part as Ryan O'Malley, Jake Johnson brings absolutely nothing to the table.  He gives us the same man-child loser we get on episodic television on a weekly basis.  His unoriginal performance lacks far more than I can describe in these brief words.  For his part as Johnson's roommate Justin Miller (also referred to as Officer Chang), Damon Wayans, Jr. gives an equally dismal performance.  Like on New Girl, Wayans tries too hard to be both this soft lovable guy and a witty wise-ass.  Unfortunately, he's not particularly effective on either end of the spectrum.

Let's Be Cops definitely lets me down.  There's no comedy.  There's no story.  There's no worthwhile reason to actually watch this film.  If you bother, some kamikaze shots will help because Let's Be Cops gets a wasted rating.