”I want to shoot at cops, I don’t wanna be one”, says a minor character early on in the execrable Let’s Be Cops. Even if the movie didn’t have the misfortune of opening the same week as the Ferguson, MO standoff between police and protestors, 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.
Hard-luck roomies Ryan and Justin (Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr., both more appealing in any two minutes of New Girl than anywhere in this entire film) are best pals despite having virtually nothing in common—other than both being vaguely annoying. When they mistakenly show up at a masquerade ball in cop uniforms, they discover that people take them for actual 5-0. So they go ahead and keep up the charade. All is fair in bro-land until they get immersed in an underground ring of L.A. gangbangers, its leader played by the ultra-menacing…James D’Arcy! Along the way, Nina Dobrev, Andy Garcia, and Keegan-Michael Key get mired in the dreck.
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. At last, a stray moment in which the viewer is in perfect, living-out-loud harmony with film. F