It’s like someone put an episode of “New Girl” on the big screen, but with the f word, which unfortunately doesn’t stand for fun.
“Lets Be Cops” stars New Girl co-stars Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. as friends who find themselves involved in a real world battle with criminals after dressing up as policemen at a party leads to them pretending to be Cops in real life. So can these guys translate their onscreen tv chemistry to big screen movie success? uh… no.
Now don’t get me wrong, I really do think these guys are funny. Nick and Coach are two of my favorite characters on TV and seeing them here together really is kind of fun on a straight up character and humor level. It’s actually a testament to their amazing chemistry and comedic chops that they manage to pull some decent laughs out of some really dreadful material here. Jake Johnson has this wonderful manic pursuit of silliness that is perfectly offset by Wayans’ tentative exasperation. I’d actually love to continue to see them together in comedies that actually have an understanding of plotting and sense of story. But this is not that movie.
In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite of that movie. The plot is awful and horribly executed, with our characters just jumping from situation to situation without much natural progression. Not that you’re going to buy any of it anyway. You’ll find yourself rolling your eyes at each new ridiculous situation that would simply never happen in any semblance of the real world. Unless, of course, you’re superpower is suspension of disbelief, then it might not bother you. Although that does seem like a really awful superpower to get stuck with. Basically, wouldn’t that just make you really good at living in denial? Anyhow, I think a lot of this silliness might work on TV where you have 22 minutes to play around, but stretched into a full movie it feels forced and ugly. Plus, after seeing these guys on network TV for many seasons, it’s just weird to hear them drop f bombs and such. I’m not trying to be a prude here, I get that this is intentionally a rated R comedy, but it just feels out of place and strange as a fan of the show. Plus I missed the others. I wonder if maybe Winston and Schmidt were off somewhere else pretending to be firefighters. Of course it also doesn’t help that the concept is basically the same as the Jump St. movies which had a much clearer sense of direction and comedy than this, and the added benefit of being partly a parody.
When it comes right down to it, “Lets Be Cops” is a movie that never finds its true tone or sense of purpose. The silliness of the plot and forced situations distract horribly from what should be a fun time with two funny guys who work well together. But even there wonderful chemistry can’t keep this movie from pretending to be anything more than a D+.