‘Let’s Be Cops,’ a new movie about two grown men -- played by Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. -- who pretend to be police officers, did not screen early for critics. On a rainy Tuesday night, I paid $14 for a ticket for ‘Let’s Be Cops’ at my local movie theater, to watch the film amongst around 30 other people who thought this would be a satisfactory night of entertainment. While watching I kept a running diary of my experience. Watching ‘Let’s Be Cops’ is a miserable experience. Anyway, here’s how that all went…
10:00 p.m.: I am holding out a scant piece of hope that this might be funny.
10:04 p.m.: The first trailer is for the Seth Rogen/James Franco movie ‘The Interview.’ No one laughed.
10:07 p.m.: The second trailer is for ‘Dumb & Dumber To.’ No one laughed. One person said “Ewww.”
10:18 p.m.: The man in front of me is playing a game on his smart phone.
10:19 p.m.: ‘Let’s Be Cops’ starts with the Backstreet Boys’ ‘I Want It That Way,’ leading into Jake Johnson performing the song at karaoke. I wish the whole movie were about this.
10:21 p.m.: ‘Let’s Be Cops’ is trying to prove to us that L.A. is a bad place because Jake Johnson’s character, Ryan, couldn’t start his car and everyone on the sidewalk laughed at him.
10:21 p.m.: His car started and he collided with an SUV of Russian mobsters. Ah, it’s going to be one of those kind of movies.
10:22 p.m.: I bet we see these Russian mobsters again.
10:25 p.m.: Damon Wayans Jr.’s character, Justin, works for a video game company. He is pitching a game about police officers and to do this he has full police uniforms. I see where this is going.
10:27 p.m.: Ryan and Justin are already pretending to be cops.
10:28 p.m.: The man in front of me is still playing his video game.
10:32 p.m.: The Russian mobsters are back.
10:33 p.m.: The man in front of me is still playing his game.
10:34 p.m.: I should say something.
10:34 p.m.: I hate confrontation.
10:35 p.m.: He just put his game away. I think he beat it. I find myself strangely happy for him.
10:36 p.m.: I don’t think I like this movie.
10:37 p.m.: The line, “I don’t shoot testicles,” was just spoken.
10:37 p.m.: I wish I were watching ‘Star Wars.’
10:39 p.m.: I feel like the only direction given to Jake Johnson during the filming of ‘Let’s Be Cops’ was “Be loud.”
10:41 p.m.: They now own a police car as well as uniforms.
10:42 p.m.: Absolutely nothing about this movie makes sense.
10:43 p.m.: If someone did what these two are doing in this movie, their scheme would last about 45 seconds.
10:43 p.m.: Now they are stripping.
10:45 p.m.: I wish I were asleep.
10:47 p.m.: I suspect at some point during filming that Jake Johnson just decided, “I am going to act like a lunatic. Who cares?”
10:49 p.m.: Damon Wayans Jr.’s character just got kicked in the nuts and the audience laughed.
10:49 p.m.: To quote the Backstreet Boys … tell me why?
10:50 p.m.: Rob Riggle is in this movie.
10:51 p.m.: Ryan and Justin now respond to police dispatch calls.
10:53 p.m.: If an alien showed up right now, it would not surprise me.
10:55 p.m.: There’s a scene where Damon Wayans Jr. has a man’s scrotum in his face.
10:58 p.m.: The Russian gang is back. They are the villains.
11:01 p.m.: I am miserable.
11:02 p.m.: The leader of the Russian mob is also a cage fighter. My god, why…
11:06 p.m.: Is it too late to change careers? I wonder what architecture school costs.
11:06 p.m.: I want to build a place where ‘Let’s Be Cops’ can never be shown to anyone.
11:08 p.m.: Ryan and Justin have decided to take down the Russian mob, based mostly on the fact that the leader of the Russian mob was mean to the waitress that Justin happens to like.
11:09 p.m.: Nobody in this movie does anything that a real person would do.
11:11 p.m.: The name of this movie should be ‘Convoluted: The Movie.’
11:15 p.m.: I leave on vacation on Thursday. I wish I were on vacation right now.
11:15 p.m. I’m envisioning my resignation letter in my head right now.
11:16 p.m.: “Though I’ve enjoyed my time at ScreenCrush, the working environment you’ve subjected me to is unreasonable and therefore I must resign.”
11:16 p.m.: I wish the guy in front of me would start playing video games again.
11:18 p.m.: This is one of those movies where a character makes a joke and all of the other characters laugh.
11:20 p.m.: “And the Oscar for Best Picture goes to … ‘Let’s Be Cops.’” In this weird hate-fantasy, I picture Seth MacFarlane saying those words.
11:21 p.m. This movie has the flimsiest premise. No reasonable people would ever do anything that any character in this movie does.
11:21 p.m. The name of this movie should be ‘Single Ply Toilet Paper: The Motion Picture.’
11:22 p.m.: I don’t believe this is a real movie.
11:24 p.m.: I just laughed at something in this movie.
11:24 p.m.: I now need to reassess my entire existence.
11:29: p.m.: There’s a minor twist in this movie and a woman in the audience just screamed, “Oh, my God!”
11:34 p.m.: This turned from a bad comedy into a bad action movie.
11:38 p.m.: I can’t believe this is the same movie from an hour ago.
11:39 p.m.: This movie was all about a video game at one point.
11:43 p.m.: A character in ‘Let’s Be Cops’ is being tortured.
11:45 p.m.: This movie reminds me of how I play ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ just aimlessly wandering around with no concern whatsoever for the story.
11:50 p.m.: I want to go home.
11:53 p.m.: My favorite thing about this movie is there are no repercussions whatsoever.
11:57 p.m.: This movie finally ended.
11:57 p.m.: ‘Let’s be Cops’ is showing outtakes. I hope Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise show up.
11:58 p.m.: I’ll always cherish that one time that I laughed during ‘Let’s Be Cops.’
11:58 p.m. I hope that man in front of me playing a video game set a high score tonight. I hope he never forgets this night. I hope, someday – maybe a day just like today, only many years from now – he remembers, “That was the night I saw ‘Let’s Be Cops.’” For humanity’s sake, someone has to remember.
Mike Ryan has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and GQ. He is the senior editor of ScreenCrush. You can contact him directly on Twitter.