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Movie review: No laughs in criminally bad 'Let's Be Cops'

Published August 14, 2014 9:50 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

There's a funny, edgy idea rattling around in "Let's Be Cops," but the poor thing dies of neglect in a humorless script and weak execution.

Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr., co-stars on Fox's "New Girl," play Ryan and Justin, loser roommates in Los Angeles. Ryan's an unemployed former college quarterback, Justin a milquetoast video-game designer who can't pitch his police-based first-person shooter.

The pair put on some authentic LAPD uniforms for a costume party and discover when they're on the street that they can pass for the real thing. Ryan gets jacked about pretending to be a cop, and Justin's initial objections fade when he discovers it's a turn-on to Josie ("The Vampire Diaries' " Nina Dobrev), a waitress he's been crushing on. Things get real — or as real as things can get in this lackluster script by Nicholas Thomas and the film's director, Luke Greenfield — when the fake cops tangle with a real crime boss (James D'Arcy) and his thugs.

Jokes are mostly absent, and what few exist dive into the deep end of the bad-taste pool. Johnson and Wayans, whatever comic chemistry they have on TV, are hard-pressed to fill the void.

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'Let's Be Cops'

Opens Wednesday, Aug. 13, at theaters everywhere; rated R for language including sexual references, some graphic nudity, violence and drug use; 104 minutes.