Let’s Be Honest: Buddy Con-Artist Flick Falls Flat


I honestly didn’t hear about the movie Let’s Be Cops until I saw it on Redbox. Unlike a lot of other people, regardless if it looked stupid, I thought I’d give it a shot. The great thing about Redbox is that for only a dollar and some pocket change you have very little risk for possibly a very big reward.

Let’s Be Cops is definitely a film you’ll be glad you didn’t pay theater prices to see. Actually, I don’t even recall a theater release for this film. However, I did Google it after and was shocked it’s in a couple of select theaters currently. To quickly summarize without giving away too much, if that’s possible, Let’s Be Cops follows a couple of buddies who are going nowhere, and fast. Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Damon Wayans Jr.) decide that dressing up like cops just for the hell of it has its benefits. They enjoy the attention from hot chicks who normally wouldn’t have given two shits about these dufuses to using their power to put fear in civilians — innocent or otherwise. But, you guessed it, they soon wind up getting in over their heads when they stumble upon real life mobsters.

Again, not wanting to spoil that Academy Award worthy cliffhanger (not!) I’ll be conservative on the details for those of you have yet to watch. Surprisingly this film whether intended or not, comes across like a B-movie and yet it does manage to offer an initial hook. If you go with the flow, you realize it’s not a total train wreck. If you have nothing better to do, this buddy flick grows on you.

And you learn that, like all the Baldwins, the Wayans definitely look alike.

It is quasi interesting if people could actually get away with this sort of scam as long as the two idiots in this movie do. When it comes to comedy, the movie is so-so, although there is a spontaneous gross naked man and balls-on-face “Borat moment” for those of you that enjoy that sort of disturbing hilarity. There are other surprises that spring up, mostly from the list of actors you had no idea were so desperate. I hardly noticed Justin’s love interest Josie (Nina Dobrev) without her fangs until I looked closer and realized I recognized the Vampire Diary star from somewhere. And it was also surprising to see how the producers slipped in Andy Garcia to play mobster Brolin.

As Ryan and Justin continue their scheme, the plot gets a bit lost in excessive ridiculousness all in an attempt to grab laughs. Rather than moving the story forward, the hijinks slow it down. The humor falls flat with punchless dialogue, and I found myself begging for some sort of realistic plot point and story line that suddenly infuse some sort of sense.

But, I did make it through the entire movie, and that’s saying something. I’ve been known to turn off Redbox rentals, both the straight to DVD and theatrical release variety, within the first five minutes because the story, dialogue or even cinematography was that awful. The fact that one can actually bear to wait for the closing credits of Let’s Be Cops is a win of sorts. While ultimately it’s a fail, the movie has its few moments of humor and fluid action that may entertain if you absolutely have nothing better to do. Just don’t get your hopes up, as any positives get quickly absorbed by stunted plot points and ill-conceived or downright absent comedic timing.

My Redbox Vote: Worth a shot at $1.50 if you have absolutely nothing else to watch.

Rotten Tomato’s Vote: 18% on the Tomatometer, which equates roughly to a one star.

About Sonyo Estavillo

I am a creative professional with extensive project experience from concept to development (scripted and non-scripted). My talents are diverse and include: producing, directing, production management, videography, social media/viral marketing, research, non-linear editing, story development, and content writing. *Masters in Television, Radio, & Film @ Newhouse, Syracuse University *Bachelors in Film Production @ CSULB

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