** out of ****
Two down-on-their-luck guys (The New Girl’s Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr.) misunderstand the difference between “masquerade party” and “costume party.” They show up dressed as policemen, leave the party humiliated, but find that pretending to be a cop has its benefits in the new film Let’s Be Cops.
The premise could potentially work, and the movie has scattershot laughs, but the biggest mistake in the script (by Nicholas Thomas and director Luke Greenfield) is stretching the film’s action out over an extended period of time. Let’s Be Cops should have been structured like Superbad or After Hours, where the story is confined to one wild night. Requiring Johnson and Wayans to carry on their ruse for so long wears the idea thin. But if it had been about a couple of depressed, somewhat drunk guys throwing caution to the wind for a single night and pretending to be other people, that could have been something.
Instead, the film settles for being blandly forgettable. It doesn’t have the eye-roling, cringe-inducing flatness of Sex Tape’s worst bits, but like that film, it’s a case of shoulda-coulda-woulda..