Classic cop film gives bigger, better laughs

 “Let’s Be Cops,” which came to theaters Aug. 13, is the perfect movie for a good laugh and some action.

When a new police comedy comes to theaters, I usually assume it will follow the same storyline of two best friends who are partners and tend to be the least efficient members in the police department, until receiving an opportunity to prove themselves and somehow accomplishing it.

While “Let’s Be Cops” does have some of those key similarities, the main difference is the stars, Jake Johnson and Damon Wayas Jr., are not real cops in the film. Ryan, played by Johnson, is an injured college football star and aspiring actor while Justin, played by Wayas Jr., is an aspiring video game designer.

The film begins with Ryan and Jake discussing how they thought they would have accomplished their goals in Los Angeles by the time they were 30.

Soon after, they attend their college reunion costume party dressed as cops. It isn’t until they are walking home when they realize the special treatment they received from their fake Los Angeles Police Department uniforms, and it all spirals out of control from there.

Ryan quickly becomes obsessed with pretending to a cop and convinces Jake, who was initially more hesitant about it. Within a few days, they own a police car with working lights and Ryan has vigorously studied police lingo and codes via YouTube.

A few nights later, they find the car that was behind a hit and run on Ryan’s car earlier in the movie and decide to go into the restaurant where the driver was and pretend to arrest him.

Little did they know, they were interrupting official business for the Russian Mafia and put themselves on a hit list.

Ryan quickly becomes immersed in the story of the guys who hit his car as he discovers something bigger is going on, while Jake tries to back out as he figures out just how illegal everything they are doing is.

Soon enough, Ryan has somehow convinced the actual LAPD he is a sherriff and gains access to surveillance equipment to dig deeper into the mob and their leader, Mossi.

As the movie progresses, the danger Ryan puts himself and Jake in increases dramatically without his knowledge. Before you know it, there are members of the mob all over town waiting to kill them. Now Jake and Ryan are not only dodging arrest for impersonation of police officers, they’re also dodging bullets.

Director Luke Greenfield did an excellent job balancing humor and suspense. He created a hilarious comedy that also a deeper storyline, keeping the more serious moments light-hearted but not any less legitimate.

“Let’s Be Cops” is rated R for sexual references, some graphic nudity, violence and drug use and is playing at Cinemark Theaters in Conway.

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