Let’s Be Cops: When Dressing Up Gets Serious

Hello everybody! Today we have the most recent film starring a Wayans brother, Let’s Be Cops.


STARRING: Damon Wayans, Jr., Jake Johnson, Nina Dobrev, Rob Riggle, Keegan-Michael Key

DIRECTOR: Luke Greenfield

GENRE: Comedy

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United States

It’s the ultimate buddy cop movie except for one thing: they’re not cops. When two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party, they become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line. The film opens with Ryan (Jake Jonshon) singing karaoke to Justin (Damon Wayons, Jr) in a pizza place. After the song, Justin explains that hes depressed that they’re both 30 year old losers, living in Los Angeles and maybe its time to go back to Ohio. Ryan doesn’t work and Justin is unhappy in his job as an assistant for a video game developer. Justin also has a crush on the waitress Josie (Nina Dobrev), but is too scared to talk to her.

Whatever else these two buddy “cops” may be, Justin and Ryan are fiercely loyal friends. For much of the movie, each accepts the other’s glaring character flaws. But they also eventually challenge each other to do better. While each one of the friends have different grips on reality, the characters are important in each others lives.

Co-writer/director Luke Greenfield (“Something Borrowed”) lets what few laughs there are land. Johnson’s timing is sharp, and Wayans has that Wayans way with dopey under-reactions to crazy situations.

If Let’s Be Cops were content to be simply an unfunny genre exercise, it would be easy to dismiss it and move on. But the sting of astoundingly ill-advised sexism and homophobia is harder to shake: Nearly all of the women depicted are callous bimbos, and facepalm-worthy scenes of gay panic run aplenty. At one point, Wayans’ character invokes the ”I’m too old for this s—t” rhetoric of Lethal Weapon‘s Danny Glover.

It should still be called out for what it is: a galactically inane, what-were-they-thinking misfire that doesn’t even care enough to get the buddy-cop movie formula right.


  • Character friendships.
  • Cast timing on jokes.


  • Too much stupid humor.
  • Sexism/homophobia.
  • Main cast performances.
  • Horrible example of buddy cop genre.

SCORE: 5.5 / 10

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