Damon Wayans Jr

Damon Wayans Jr and Jake Johnson in LETS BE COPS

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.

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Wayans and Johnson

Every good sitcom has to have a black dude. Or, at least, this seems to be the theory that FOX’s New Girl was working by when, after they lost Damon Wayans Jr. to ABC’s Happy Endings following the filming of their pilot, they dealt with the situation by replacing his Coach character with another black dude named Winston (Lamorne Morris). Since then though, Happy Endings has done well for itself, and – after a period of hanging around the outskirts of the show as the token who the writers didn’t have much for – Morris has found his groove and started getting big laughs on New Girl. So it’s kind of hard to get upset about any perceived racism or whatever. One thing that we can still get upset about, however, is that we never really got the chance to see a couple of comedic talents like Wayans and Jake Johnson play off of each other. They’ve both been great on their respective shows, and it’s kind of hard not to dream about what might have been had they been given a chance to play in the same sandbox. This is the part of the story where there’s good news. Deadline is reporting that Fox has just green lit a new comedy called Let’s Be Cops that’s coming from The Girl Next Door director Luke Greenfield. It’s about two idiot best friends who decide to start impersonating police officers in order to entertain themselves, and – here’s the big news – it’s […]

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Culture Warrior

No doubt you’ve read about it if you haven’t seen it. The Other Guys, the latest collaboration between masters of the sophomoric Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, concludes with an animated chart-and-graph sequence over its end credits detailing the inner workings of Ponzi schemes, the exponential disparity between the wages of corporate CEOs and their average worker, and the rather comical eventual release date of currently imprisoned white-collar criminal Bernie Madoff. It seems startling at first, for one of the most hilariously dumb comedies of the summer (I certainly don’t mean this as an insult, as true silliness is hard to come by and McKay/Ferrell routinely pull it off masterfully) to conclude with something of a visual lecture. It’s confounding for a film that asks the bare minimum of its viewer to conclude with what seems to be a message built from populist outrage, a message for which there seemed, on the surface, little if any buildup toward. The best course of action – for most critics, anyway – has been to read and enjoy The Other Guys wholly separate from its end credits (films, after all, are often misread as ending before their credits; we’re conditioned not to any pay attention to them). I find this reading of The Other Guys too selective, and its end credits – as didactic and ill-placed as they may seem at first to be – paint a rather different film in hindsight to the one we think we have been seeing.

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published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C
published: 04.18.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
A

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