Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Let's Be Cops

Year 7, Day 244 - 9/1/15 - Movie #2,136

BEFORE: Back from Atlantic City, I only lost about $57 on the slots and we had some great meals, some drinks, hung out on the boardwalk, the usual stuff.  Our hotel room was really a rented-out apartment, it wasn't terrible but we won't make that mistake again, next time we'll try to get back into our usual hotel.  Anyway, it was a fine four-day weekend, and if I watch a movie this afternoon and another one after midnight tonight, I'll be back in the swing of things.  Rob Riggle carries over from "22 Jump Street".  

THE PLOT:  Two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted "heroes" get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.

AFTER: This is really the opposite of "22 Jump Street", because that film had 2 cops going undercover as regular college students, and this film has 2 regular guys impersonating cops.  

But it's the SAME conversation they have, about 40 or 50 times in a row, every time the impulsive one wants to take the charade a step further, then the rational one says, "No, that's not a good idea," and the impulsive one presses the point, so they do it, which advances the plot incrementally, but WHY must they have the same talk, stressing the same points, again and again?  

There's just no way, no how, that it's a good idea to impersonate police officers - that much is clear from the start.  Whatever benefits they may reap from the situation - respect, confidence, attention from ladies - it's not worth the prison time.  Even when the rational one learns how strict the prison sentences are for wearing a fake badge, riding in a fake police car, misrepresenting oneself as an officer of the law - and we're talking about YEARS behind bars if convicted - why isn't that enough for him to stand up to his friend, if he knows how much trouble they could get in.  

And the impulsive one's argument (at least before he's so delusional that he starts to think he's a real cop), is always, "Well, come ON, don't be a pussy."  How is this logical?  If he lets his friend badger him into doing something he doesn't want to do, then he's a pussy.  He's actually being LESS of a pussy by standing up to his friend and saying, "Hey, this isn't right."  Which is what any rational, right-thinking person would do.  

But, there is a girl involved (isn't there always?) so one small lie turns into a succession of lies, until it reaches the point where he can't tell the truth, because that would reveal that their whole relationship is based on a lie.  And because this is a simple, mostly moronic movie, it's an incredible coincidence that his potential girlfriend is also being threatened by the gangster that they pissed off earlier in the film.  And that's just the START of the unbelievable coincidences - it gets much, much worse from the improbable, unbelievable starting point.  

It's also a huge disservice to real policemen everywhere to show two people with minimal knowledge and training performing the duties of cops, even if they're appallingly bad at it.  The very fact that other policemen characters wouldn't recognize right away that these guys are posers is, in itself, a huge insult.  

The only redeeming thing, and the only reason I don't rate this film as a "2", is that they do (eventually) come to realize that police work is serious, and best left to the professionals.  The climactic action scenes were suspenseful enough, and featured enough dangerous situations for them to realize that they were out of their league, and that was an important message.  I wish it hadn't taken nearly the whole film to get to it, but at least it was there.

But such a HUGE fail of the Bechdel test - there are really only two female characters in the film, they never meet each other, they're only there to be love interests, in fact all of the women characters only exist to be horny for cops, or guys in cop uniforms.  You know, there are female cops too - and women do other things besides sit around and wait for cops to come to their apartment so they can fawn all over them.  But you wouldn't know that from watching this film. 

Also starring Jake Johnson (last seen in "Neighbors"), Damon Wayans, Jr. (last seen in "The Other Guys"), Nina Dobrev (last seen in "Chloe"), James D'Arcy (last seen in "Cloud Atlas"), Keegan-Michael Key (last heard in "The Lego Movie"), Andy Garcia (last seen in "When a Man Loves a Woman"), Natasha Leggero (also last seen in "Neighbors"), Tom Mardirosian, 

RATING: 4 out of 10 surveillance photos

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