Movie Review: “Let’s Be Cops” – Let’s Not

Written by Caitlin Cooper September 09, 2014

Let's Be Cops

Every once in awhile I like to see how the comedy genre is doing. Is it still full of cliched and, frankly, idiotic films that lack quality laughs? A film which is only comedy – not a mix of genres – tends to suffer from weak writing and poor acting. I’ve kind of lost my faith in the genre. “Let’s Be Cops” is a comedy that tries to strike gold, partially by having its main characters portrayed by actors who’ve worked together before in comedy for the small screen. Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. are both on “New Girl”, the comedy show which plays into the quirky, odd, and awkward type of characters (while the show is silly, I find it entertaining). The two actors already have a comfortable acting relationship, so why not put them at the forefront of a comedy film and capitalize on their rep? I’m pretty sure that was the main idea behind “Let’s Be Cops.”


“Let’s Be Cops” follows a pretty familiar comedic trope: two best friends that haven’t been successful with their careers or their lives, and who have questionable morals get a bad idea to do something pretty ill-advised (and illegal). When Ryan (Johnson) and Justin (Wayans Jr.) arrive at their high school reunion in cop costumes and discover it isn’t a costume party, they’re pretty embarrassed. But when strangers mistake them for real cops, Ryan suggests they let strangers keep believing their costumes are legitimate uniforms. They engage in some crime, and then land themselves in trouble. Pretty soon they’ve managed to anger some pretty dangerous people.

“Even the cops think we’re cops.”

Surprise, surprise, “Let’s Be Cops” hits a comedy film favourite: the high school reunion. Let there never be a lost opportunity to assert how pathetic the main characters are by contrasting them with their successful classmates; at least, that’s the whole point of that particular cliche. They also just happen to overhear a call to a sorority house to break up a girl fight that started because of a man. Go figure. There’s also the token gross scene in which one character sees something disgusting, and the audience is tortured.

Let's Be Cops

There’s nothing really wrong with the acting. In fact, I think Johnson and Wayans Jr. do pretty well playing their characters. The script is pretty lacking, though, and the jokes aren’t as funny to me as they are to the characters. I will say that Wayans Jr. is pretty funny as the perpetually paranoid one of the pair, and the best scenes are the ones in which the two friends bicker. Their bickering usually leads to mistakes and issues in maintaining their personas. Nina Dobrev delivers some good one-liners as Justin’s love interest, Josie.

“Are you threatening me? I’m a cop, asshole.”

One surprising addition that was actually funny was the appropriate music. The songs generally matched the jokes, and in that sense the score added to the comedy. Well chosen and placed music actually helped “Let’s Be Cops” be funny. Ultimately, there are so many tired cliches that it really just sapped most of the comedy from the film. The most interesting part of “Let’s Be Cops” is when they realize that they’re in danger because it actually gives direction to the film. This direction provides more action scenes and more entertainment. The last 20 minutes are the best of the film.

Let's Be Cops

Overall, “Let’s Be Cops” tries to be a funny best friend cop film, but the majority of the script lacks jokes that are actually funny. The acting isn’t faulty, but it isn’t enough to save a weak script. The first half of the film drags, but the second is much better. Is it worth it? I’m not convinced.

My Rating: 5/10

Let's Be Cops

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About Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin is an avid watcher of movies and television shows so she decided to use her passion to write about them. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing.

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