Craig's Screening Room: "Let's Be Cops"

Photo Credit: Photo by Frank Masi, SMPSP - © 2014 - Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

A movie that definitely fits more into the good time category instead of actually being all that good, “Let’s Be Cops” is a movie tailor-made for the comedy talents of its two stars. Don’t know Damon Wayans Jr. (yes, the second generation of the Wayans family of “In Living Color” fame) and Jake Johnson? That could explain why the ratings for “New Girl” are so low. Or why “Happy Endings” got cancelled. One thing’s for sure, both shows are criminally underrated and these two likable, all-out comedy actors are a big reason why.

Both play down-on-their luck L.A roommates. Ryan (Johnson) is a former college quarterback who got injured and now spends his time trying to be an actor and playing football with children at the park. Justin (Wayans Jr.) is an assistant at a video game company who no one listens to. Deciding to dress up as cops for Halloween, the guys are surprised to discover that the uniform brings, as Eric Cartman would say when he impersonated the police, “authoritile” that girls love and weed-tokers and various other characters have to bow down to.

Somehow these guys manage to buy an over 2,000 dollar police car despite being nearly destitute and they manage to piss off some dangerous gangsters, who the guys decide they must take down themselves in order to prove their self-worth but a stupid-ass plot aside, the movie written by Luke Greenfield and Nick Thomas works best when going for broad slapstick. Trying to subdue some crazy sorority sisters, Jerry Springer style, or half-naked (and totally naked) meth-heads isn’t going to make you think but it gets the job done.

It helps that the two actors have already built a fine chemistry with each other, Johnson teams with enthusiasm while Wayans, his timid partner. Both are self-deprecating and have a goofy charm. They’re supported well by Keegan Michael Key, who gets the best laughs as a Jamaican smuggler, Rob Riggle, and an intimidating villain in Andy Garcia. And she does nearly nothing here but Nina Dobrev is just gorgeous. “Let’s Be Cops” doesn’t try that hard but these performers do and sometimes that’s just enough.