LET’S BE COPS (2014, Luke Greenfield)
I can see someone getting more outraged by the existence of LET’S BE COPS than is warranted, and that’s for two reasons: first, the timing of this film’s release coinciding with the Ferguson horrors; and second, its casual misogyny and bigotry. The good news is that both of these objections require a movie with more on its mind, and instead we’re merely looking at flat, lifeless manure. The bad news is that the film still sucks.
A soon-to-be-forgotten used napkin of a late-summer comedy, this limping pile of failure doesn’t merit discussion alongside Ferguson because it isn’t really investigating the nature of real police work, the difference between the citizenry and its peacekeepers, or the problem of justice at large. In fact, it defiantly refuses to trouble your conscience at all. The script only musters up enough effort to deliver a couple of dusty platitudes about following your dreams, not running away, and taking responsibility. And as for the offhanded way it blatantly insults the intelligence of all female “characters” while tossing in some racist and homophobic jokes, the toothlessness of everything is so facile that you can’t even get upset. It would be like getting mad over a toddler taking a swing at you.
The slow-paced dripping sigh that is this movie is all the more strange coming from a pair of leads that not only crackle with great chemistry on their FOX sitcom NEW GIRL, but also have so many individual moments of improvisatory verbal or physical comedy (especially with Wayans on the lamentably defunct HAPPY ENDINGS). Here, these guys seem drained from too many weeks of TV shooting and are sleepwalking through a rote and senseless plot that isn’t even worthy of a SCOOBY DOO episode. Jake Johnson has one moment — literally one, that I counted — of inspired acting opposite Andy Garcia (!) that involves him only saying “Yes they aaaarrrreNO,” but its inexplicable existence only reminds us that Johnson is capable of far more than Greenfield’s malodorous burp of a film allows.