Damon Wayans Jr and Jake Johnson in LETS BE COPS

20th Century Fox

Schmidt and Jenko. Riggs and Murtaugh. Tango and Cash. Coach and Nick Miller?

The trailer for Let’s Be Cops has dropped, and the buddy cop genre is about to have a new entry for best dynamic duo, courtesy of Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. The New Girl co-stars are teaming up for a new project that doesn’t involve Zooey Deschanel or the word “adorkable.”

Johnson and Wayans star as a couple of screw-up friends named Ryan and Justin who were planning on being a lot more successful by the time they hit 30. Sure, they’ve done stuff — Ryan was in a herpes medication commerical at one point, doesn’t that count? — but it’s nothing near where their younger selves thought they’d be at their milestone birthdays.

Justin has pointed out that they both agreed that they would move back to Ohio and start over if they hadn’t made anything of themselves by the time they hit 30. But before that depressing pact is revisited, Ryan is going to cheer them both up with a costume party. When the invitation is misread and they show up in police uniforms to a very Eyes Wide Shut-looking masquerade ball, the boys take yet another rejection in stride. And then they make something of themselves. Kind of.

What follows in the trailer is a series of calamitous mistakes and mishaps while the guys answer cruise around town in a fake squad car (it’s not that illegal, right?) in order to find drunk sorority sisters and get the respect they think they deserve. It’s a charade that, as straight-man Justin points out, isn’t going to last long — especially when they’re using their counterfeit badges to score weed and impress women.

Even though there’s no way this plan is going to work out in their favor, it’s going to be pretty delightful seeing them flounder while trying their hardest. If only it didn’t seem like this trailer jammed in every single joke from the film into these few minutes. Maybe there’s a few surprises left?

It’s an odd casting choice to throw Johnson and Wayans in the same film together, what with them currently being roommates on a hit sitcom right now. We already know that on New Girl, their chemistry is fantastic. But it’s going to be a true testament to their skills, and Let’s Be Cops writers Luke Greenfield (pulling double duty as director) and Nicholas Thomas that we don’t just see them as Coach and Nick Miller playing dress-up. I’ve already done that several times in this piece. This can’t been seen as a Very Special Episode (but if it was, let’s be real — Schmidt should play the bad guy).

With a strong supporting cast that includes Keegan-Michael Key, Rob Riggle and Andy Garcia, they shouldn’t have anything to worry about. After all, the buddy cop genre is on the upswing again, even if this film is technically just a psuedo entry. The Kevin Hart and Ice Cube matchup Ride Along raked in over $133.2 million since its January premiere. And they’re probably not even going down as one of the best cop duos of all time. How about Ryan and Justin?

Let’s Be Cops is in theaters August 13th.


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