Let’s Be Cops sees Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Damon Wayans Jr) as losers with no real career going for them who, as you might’ve guessed, decide one day to pretend to be cops.
Ryan has spent the last two years living off the $11,000 he earned from a genital herpes commercial – the clip here, not being quite as funny as the one in the trailer – why do they do that? Even the exclamation of “eBay, dude!”, announcing the website on which he purchased a cop car, is much more pronounced on the trailer than the film itself; and Ryan also laughs as he repeats the line “That’s what you get” when they attend a domestic disturbance with three women having a row. I cans see why they’ve spiced things up for the trailer, but why not include this moments in the film itself?
Meanwhile Justin works as an assistant in a videogames company and hates his job, and his boss treats him like crap. They told themselves that if they hadn’t made it by the time they were 30, they’d move back to Ohio… and now that time has come.
I’m trying to think of one part in this film which stands out, and there isn’t one. If you’ve seen the trailer, then add in a half-assed plot about gangsters who don’t think twice about killing cops, plus a cute girlfriend for Justin in Josie (Nina Dobrev) – who spends too much time offscreen to the point where it’s as if scriptwriters Nicholas Thomas and Luke Greenfield (the latter also directed) had completely forgotten she existed – and you have this film. There’s a twist I could see coming a mile off, and the whole show plays out like a pedestrian Scooby Doo adventure with the good guys winning over the bad guys, but it just about gets by due to its two likeable everyman leads.
That said, 21 Jump Street proved that dumb buddy-cop films can bring in the money, and since Let’s Be Cops had a budget of $17m, and had grossed around $80m after six weeks, a sequel is sure to be on the cards.
Let’s Be Cops also made me wonder what happened to one of the leads’ father, Damon Wayans, who came to the fore in the early 90s in hits such as The Last Boy Scout, and taking the lead in Mo’ Money, but from the late ’90s he almost disappeared from the screen for good.
The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition and it’s crisp and clear with no problems whatsoever, as you’d expect from a modern film. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 50″ Plasma TV.
The sound is in DTS HD 5.1 and there’s occasional use made of split-surround when bullets fly in a couple of scenes.
The extras are as follows and are all in HD and subtitled:
- Deleted/extended/alternate Scenes (17:25): 16 of them, but nothing that needs to be put back into the film.
- Camera test (6:11): An initial run-through of a few scenes between the two leads.
- Real Funny (8:31): A basic featurette about how they wanted to ground the film in reality, so you think the leads are in some form of danger. I never thought they wouldn’t survive.
- Brothers in Blue (11:11): A making-of-by-numbers, and like all of these, it mixes chat from the key cast and crew members alongside on-set footage.
- Gallery: 24 pictures
- Theatrical trailer (2:06): Definitely a case of all the best bits
- Audio commentaries: One apiece from director/co-writer Luke Greenfield and from co-writer Nicholas Thomas. Since they worked on it together, why not just do one together?
- Audio description: Does what it says on the tin.
There’s a lot of good stuff in these extras, but they do tend to get very repetitive and/or predictable after a while.
There are subtitles and languages in a fair few apiece, all listed at the bottom of the review. Oddly, the box erroneously states English-only. This will put some people off if they don’t know, 20th Century Fox.
Chapters are a fantastic number, here, with 32 across the 105-minute running time. More of this, please, Fox!
The menu features clips from the film set to a piece of the theme, and although Fox have put some trailers before the main menu, for the first time they’ve made this thing entirely skippable.
Running time: 105 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video
Released: December 26th 2014
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Hungarian, Polisha Turkish
Subtitles: English, French, Dutch, German, Italian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovenian, Slovakian, Turkish, English commentary (one apiece as mentioned in the extras), and English text (which is blank – huh?)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Luke Greenfield
Producers: Luke Greenfield, Simon Kinberg and Aditya Sood
Screenplay: Luke Greenfield and Nicholas Thomas
Music: Christophe Beck and Jake Monaco
Ryan O’Malley: Jake Johnson
Justin Miller: Damon Wayans Jr
Segars: Rob Riggle
Josie: Nina Dobrev
Mossi: James D’Arcy
Pupa: Keegan-Michael Key
Brolin: Andy Garcia
Todd Cutler: Jonathan Lajoie
Georgie: Tom Mardirosian
Annie: Natasha Leggero
Lydia: Rebecca Koon
Little Joey: Joshua Ormond
Female Kiss-Ass Executive: Chelsea Hayes
Gorgeous Woman: Kara Michele
Precious: Briana Venskus
JaQuandae: Jwaundace Candece
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.