Let's Be Cops (Blu-ray Review)4 Dec, 2014 By: John Latchem
Box Office $82.38 million
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for language including sexual references, some graphic nudity, violence and drug use.
Stars Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr., Nina Dobrev, Rob Riggle, Keegan-Michael Key, James D’Arcy, Andy Garcia, Jon Lajoie, Natasha Leggero.
The breezy comedy Let’s Be Cops does its best to extract a story out of a paper-thin premise, resulting in a caper that seems poised to morph into a “Police Academy” reboot at any moment.
The focus here is on listless thirtysomething roommates Ryan and Justin (Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr.) who dress like cops for a costume party, using realistic uniforms obtained by Justin to pitch a video game he’s working on. Hijinks ensue when they are mistaken on the street for real cops, inspiring them to engage in a series of pranks against an unsuspecting public for their own amusement. After realizing their regular lives suck, they decide to just act like cops all the time, even going so far as to procure an imitation police cruiser and crime scanner.
The premise offers numerous possibilities for laughs if one can look past the fact the main characters are pretty much idiots for trying this in the first place. There’s a reason that imitating law enforcement officials carries a heavy penalty, and it’s at least to the film’s credit that the characters are made aware of this.
Undaunted by the risks, the guys carry on their charade, resorting to their knowledge of buddy cop movies and acting as if they’re in one, throwing around their fake authority in order to have a good time.
That’s where the film runs into two big problems. One, the story bogs down when the guys get involved investigating a real-deal criminal smuggling ring. And two, the whole “guys pretending to be in a cop movie” thing was done a heck of a lot better in the recent 22 Jump Street, and the characters were actually supposed to be cops in that movie.
Fortunately, the film has some solid supporting players to give life to the proceedings: in particular Rob Riggle as a real cop who crosses paths with the guys; Nina Dobrev as a hot waitress who starts falling for Justin because she thinks he’s a cop; and Andy Garcia as one of the film’s mysterious heavies.
The Blu-ray includes 17 minutes of deleted scenes and a few short production featurettes, plus two separate commentaries, one with just the director and another with just his co-writer, as they discuss just exactly what motivated them to pursue this premise in the first place.