Film Review – Let’s Be Cops

Let's Be Cops

Let's Be Cops

Along comes another buddy cop film to please the masses and make them laugh, but in the case of Let’s Be Cops, it follows a different storyline. To set itself apart from other similar films, it follows two friends that pretend to be cops. That’s right, fake cops.

Let’s Be Cops stars Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson play Justin and Ryan, friends who have hit the career wall since graduating from college. While attending a college alumni masquerade party that Ryan mistakes as a costume party, they both show up dressed as cops.  After the humiliation of the mistake is over, they walk around the neighborhood and easily discover that their costumes are really, really convincing. They spend the night taking full advantage of their costumes. Ryan takes things a bit further. He obtains a police car off Craigslist and the pair has the complete package. Ryan is always the one more into this newfound activity, dragging Justin along. Things hit a large snag when they discover gangsters are trying to control their local diner and threatening Justin’s love interest, Josie (Nina Dobrev), who is a waitress. The gangsters are led by Mossi (James D’Arcy), who has a good sneer and an Eastern European accent to match. The pair, of course, has to continue with their cops’ shenanigans even with the gangsters now involved.

Let's Be Cops Movie Still 1

First and foremost, this film should make you laugh. After all, it is a comedy. If the trailer made you laugh, you should get some enjoyment out of the first 30 minutes or so.  After that, the jokes become lame and repetitive. There is nothing unique or special about the comedic tone.  The one major change in the plot, the fake cops, is not enough. It does nothing to set itself apart from the other comedies vying for your dollar and laughs. Basically, Justin is the smart one and Ryan is the dumb one. Ryan’s over-eagerness to continue the charade against all common sense and threats of being found out becomes ludicrous by the climax of the film.

The film also loses its comedic tone towards the end when the pair becomes trapped in plan to take down Mossi. It turns dramatic and serious. During the entirety of the sequence in Mossi’s club basement, not a laugh is heard from the audience. This is a risk the screenwriter and director took to make it a bit more edgy, and it does not work.  It is unexpected and not in a good way.

Let's Be Cops Movie Still 2

The supporting characters played by Rob Riggle and Keegan Michael-Key bring some needed laughs. Riggle plays it pretty straight in his role as a cop and is just funny for his reactions to these would-be cops. Nina Dobrev is not seen outside of television very much, and while her role is a departure for her, there was nothing worth remembering about her character or the performance.

Let’s Be Cops is another comedy that tries to be different.  Unfortunately, one plot twist and more lame jokes is not enough to call this a refreshing comedy. Not to say that you won’t laugh at all in this film, but it is nothing special. If you really want to see it, stick with the matinee showing.


Sarah resides in Dallas where she writes about films and trailers in her spare time when she is not taking care of her animals at the zoo.

You can reach her via email or on Twitter

View all posts by this author