I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.
Preston Barta // Critic
With a cast as good as this, how bad could it really be? I mean, you have Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr., who are both great on the hit show NEW GIRL. But as it turns out with their latest release, LET’S BE COPS, you need more than just two great performers.
LET’S BE COPS has a funny enough premise of two struggling friends who dress up as police officers and become neighborhood sensations. And the funniest bits – the most enjoyable pieces are near the beginning, when the duo is discovering what they can get away with wearing the uniform and fake badges.
It’s only when the movie moves beyond them playing with their cop powers – getting mixed in with some real mobsters and solving real crimes – does it go from being silly to ridiculous. But really, this is just a SNL skit stretched out to a feature (or a lifted idea from that Serpico episode of IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA).
As said, Johnson and Wayans Jr. are good leads, and they possess the power to keep you mildly entertained, even when the movie around them doesn’t pay them much support. But there is more at play when making movies. It’s been said a hundred times before: you need a good director, a good script, editor, etc. It’s a collaborative process that has to click in all areas, or else, it is doomed to fail.
Sadly, LET’S BE COPS is a summer dud – a film that studios were hoping would be comedy gold and provide rapid fire laughs, but instead will soon be that film that you will see in the $5 bin at Best Buy or Wal-mart around Thanksgiving, begging to be a stocking stuffer as you walk out the doorway. And while the film does cause you to snicker from time-to-time – especially one scene involving Keegan-Michael Key (pictured above) and Wayans Jr. – it’s not enough to throw your money at the box office. So keep your money in your pocket, or once again, go see GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, because repeat viewings won’t hold any laughs back.
LET’S BE COPS is now playing in theaters.