When you put a pair of losers in uniforms, at the end of the day they're still losers. Best friends and roommates Justin (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Ryan (Jake Johnson) learn that the hard way but not without finding some joy in the fantasy that you can become the success you had always hoped to by just slipping on some aviators and buying a police car off eBay. Easy is the theme and reality of Let's Be Cops. As the pair slides into fake lives and real danger, the movie glides on the formula of buddy cop films, putting on those tropes just like Justin and Ryan putting on cop gear. As a film, Let's Be Cops glides in the same way its characters do. Though it charms, it's difficult to ignore how many times we've seen this story played out before.
After 22 Jump Street ripped to shreds the formula of a buddy cop film, it's difficult to not side-eye the perfect mold Let's Be Cops casts itself in. Per usual, an odd couple struggles to mesh together as a team, finds their bearings, encounters dangers, has a falling-out, then transforms into heroes, saving the day and one another. The familiarity proves a distraction. Will anyone be surprised when the tone shifts from a loser's dreamworld of living in an action movie to an actual action movie? It doesn't help that the film falls victim to the same gay and race jokes that goofball bromances have such a hard time shaking.