Written by Luke Greenfield & Nicholas Thomas
Directed by Luke Greenfield
Released August 13, 2014
20th Century Fox
Alright I saw this tonight. A friend wanted to go so I figured, why the heck not? As I wrote last month I’m a big fan of Damon Wayans Jr. and thank he has potential to be a huge star if he just gets the right breakout roles. As I also wrote at the time, I do not think that this is the breakout role for him, and now having seen it I can say that I was right. It isn’t. But it’s still pretty good, for what it is.
If you’ve seen the commercials or trailers then you know the gist of this film. Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson play Justin and Ryan, two childhood friends from Ohio who moved to Los Angeles for college and have been roommates ever since. Neither is very successful in their lives, Justin is trying to be a video game designer and Ryan is a struggling actor. They go to their college reunion party, which for some strange reason is a costume party, dressed as cops. And when they get mistaken for real cops, they decide to keep going with the charade, acting more and more like real cops, even buying an old police car to ride around in. Hilarity ensues.
As I also noted before, Wayans and Johnson also co-star on the TV sitcom NEW GIRL (Season 4 premieres Tuesday, September 16 at 9 p.m. EST on FOX.) and they’re pretty similar to those characters here. This could easily be an extended plot from the show, with Coach and Nick getting involved in these shenanigans. There’s also a romantic subplot, with Nina Dobrev as Josie, a local waitress that Justin had a crush on but never had the nerve to approach but when she sees that he’s a “cop” she gets interested and they start dating, but of course he feels guilty about lying to her and debates telling her the truth. And a much more serious and dramatic plot that has the guys becoming involved in a sting operation against members of the Russian mafia, which puts their lives in danger and makes them realizes that pretending to be cops isn’t all fun and games.
Wayans and Johnson have good comedic timing and onscreen chemistry together, their bromance makes this film work. Rob Riggle also has a funny role as a police officer who initially doesn’t know they’re faking and takes them with him on patrol for real. Andy Garcia also appears in the film as a detective. Overall, nobody’s winning an Oscars for this film. But it’s an enjoyable comedy to spend an hour and forty minutes watching. Check it out.