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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Let's Be Cops

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


Damon Wayans Jr., left, and Jake Johnson star in a scene from the movie "Let's Be Cops."
Director and co-writer (with Nicholas Thomas) Luke Greenfield's buddy movie "Let's Be Cops" (Fox) implicitly honors police work.

But this weak comedy's combination of a farfetched premise, an obscenity-laden script and ill-advised forays into gross-out as well as kinky humor will fail to lighten the spirits of those few mature viewers for whom it can be considered somewhat acceptable.

The slackness is apparent from the start. Mistakenly believing that their college reunion is a costume affair, down-on-their-luck Los Angeles roommates Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Damon Wayans Jr.) show up for it dressed as policemen.

Noticing on their way home that their uniforms have suddenly make them magnets for the ladies, and that the passing citizenry obey their commands, the pals decide to carry on with their impersonation as a practical joke. The fact that Justin's career as a video-game designer has stalled and that ex-football star Ryan, long ago sidelined by an injury, is essentially unemployed leaves the boys plenty of time to play dress up.

Things take a potentially deadly turn, however, when the two faux Po-Po cross Albanian-born crime lord, and neighborhood menace, Mossi (James D'Arcy). This move not only puts their lives in jeopardy, it also endangers Justin's waitress girlfriend Josie (Nina Dobrev) and Officer Segars (Rob Riggle), a real cop who has fallen for Ryan and Justin's act.

Friendship is put to the test as Ryan, who has gained a new lease on life via their masquerade, thwarts Justin's sensible efforts to bring the whole business to a screeching halt.

Justin's patience is further tried by two incidental characters. The first is a stark naked perp he and Ryan encounter while aiding Segars on the scene of a nighttime break-in. Crazed as well as inexplicably underdressed, the hefty would-be thief tackles Justin in such a way as to end up with his crotch in Justin's face.

Then there's the drug-addled nymphomaniac with whom Justin and Ryan cross paths when they commandeer her apartment as a vantage-point from which to surveil Mossi's base of operations. Her repeated advances draw Ryan's excited interest, but only succeed in annoying Justin.

As for Little Joey (Joshua Ormond), the youthful sidekick Justin and Ryan have acquired -- Ryan met the lad while coaching -- his presence on the scene only serves to make this particular interlude even less palatable.

Most of the running time is devoted to more seemly material. But the barrage of F- and S-bombs almost never falls silent.

The safest response to "Let's Be Cops?" Let's not and say we did.

The film contains much action violence with occasional gore, strong sexual content, including full male nudity and many bedroom-themed jokes, drug use, at least one instance of profanity, pervasive rough and crude language and a vulgar gesture. The Catholic News Service classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

*****
John Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.





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James: This James is the brother of John the Evangelist. The two were called by Jesus as they worked with their father in a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had already called another pair of brothers from a similar occupation: Peter and Andrew. “He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him” (Mark 1:19-20). 
<p>James was one of the favored three who had the privilege of witnessing the Transfiguration, the raising to life of the daughter of Jairus and the agony in Gethsemani. </p><p>Two incidents in the Gospels describe the temperament of this man and his brother. St. Matthew tells that their mother came (Mark says it was the brothers themselves) to ask that they have the seats of honor (one on the right, one on the left of Jesus) in the kingdom. “Jesus said in reply, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They said to him, ‘We can’” (Matthew 20:22). Jesus then told them they would indeed drink the cup and share his baptism of pain and death, but that sitting at his right hand or left was not his to give—it “is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father” (Matthew 20:23b). It remained to be seen how long it would take to realize the implications of their confident “We can!” </p><p>The other disciples became indignant at the ambition of James and John. Then Jesus taught them all the lesson of humble service: The purpose of authority is to serve. They are not to impose their will on others, or lord it over them. This is the position of Jesus himself. He was the servant of all; the service imposed on him was the supreme sacrifice of his own life. </p><p>On another occasion, James and John gave evidence that the nickname Jesus gave them—“sons of thunder”—was an apt one. The Samaritans would not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to hated Jerusalem. “When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?’ Jesus turned and rebuked them...” (Luke 9:54-55). </p><p>James was apparently the first of the apostles to be martyred. “About that time King Herod laid hands upon some members of the church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also” (Acts 12:1-3a). </p><p>This James, sometimes called James the Greater, is not to be confused with James the Lesser (May 3) or with the author of the Letter of James and the leader of the Jerusalem community.</p> American Catholic Blog Walk the talk. Show, don’t tell. Values are caught, not taught—all variations of one theme: A good example is essential for good parenting.

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