Despite its underwhelming reviews (and those were the nicer ones), Let’s Be Cops has become something of a sleeper hit, turning a tidy profit on its modest $17 million budget. As of last weekend, it was still in the box office top 10 after seven weeks of release. It’s not inconceivable, then, that fans of the Jake Johnson/Damon Wayans, Jr. vehicle would want to know the circumstances under which the film was made. Such seekers of knowledge will likely be excited to learn that they can take an immersive online tour of an Atlanta soundstage which served as one of the main filming locations for the production in the spring of 2013. The tour is the work of a firm called Whatever Unique, which specializes in art direction, 3-D rendering, set design, and the fabrication of props and models for movies. Besides Let’s Be Cops, Whatever Unique has plied its services to Gangster Squad, Zombieland, Fast Five, The Vampire Diaries, and The Blind Side, among others.
The Cops walkthrough is at once instructive and oddly haunting. The set, once presumably abuzz with movie-making activity, is utterly depeopled now. Navigating the terrain either by clicking on arrows or a map in the corner, the user can traverse grim, shadowy-looking corridors and gaze upon fearsome stockpiles of weapons. Without the wisecracking antics of Johnson and Wayans, this tour feels like uncannily like a first-person shooter or an extended POV shot in a horror film. Add some dark ambient music, and this might even get you in the mood for Halloween.