(2014)2.5Cammila CollarAn unabashed pretext for letting New Girl co-stars Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. put their comedic chemistry to use between seasons, Let's Be Cops is good, stupid fun. The ridiculous story takes a backseat to the nutty characters, and the nutty characters take a backseat to the slapstick humor. The result is what it would be like if they made an entire movie about the two cops from Superbad.
Roommates and best buds Ryan (Johnson) and Justin (Wayans) are on the verge of lamenting their directionless thirties: Justin is a video-game designer who's too timid to pitch his best ideas, while Ryan is careerless, living off of the residuals from a fluke acting job for a herpes PSA. When they get invited to a costume party thrown by their old college friends, they briefly consider dressing up as Charlie Brown-style sheet ghosts, but ultimately decide to raid Justin's collection of real police gear (which he's been collecting for research on a game). Of course, as soon as they don the uniforms, the guys discover how cool it is that everybody on the street obeys when they yell "Freeze!" And later, they just can't resist shouting down the tracksuit-wearing mobsters that keep hounding their favorite pizza joint. Next thing you know, Ryan is using his ample free time to study YouTube clips about police jargon and SWAT procedure, and the two friends are in over their heads trying to entrap a crime syndicate -- all the while risking a potentially hefty prison sentence for Impersonating an Officer if they get caught.
Filled out with supporting appearances by comic heavyweights like Natasha Leggero, Keegan-Michael Key, and Rob Riggle, Let's Be Cops moves the story along quickly enough so that things never drag. The filmmakers seem well aware that the plot is only barely necessary in the first place. Watching regular guys simultaneously celebrate and mock the fantasy that carrying a badge automatically makes you a major badass is a classic template for getting laughs -- from Police Academy to Super Troopers -- and Let's Be Cops is no exception.