Ryan Ondriezek and Jeremy Mongillo, the talented young Connecticut comics who lit up the Net last year with their short “Living Healthy and Safely – The Safety Video,” are back to skewer the self-important world of mall security in “Rent-a-Copz,” a wonderfully funny satire of “COPS” and other law enforcement reality TV.
Playing a pair of Dixie mall cops (complete with painfully realistic Delta drawl accents). Ondriezek and Mongillo work the night shift patrolling the roads that criss-cross a typical suburban mall. “We don’t get pleasure for kickin’ kinds out of the mall,” one of them declares to the mute camera operator sitting in the back seat of their patrol car. Mongillo’s character, who is the more disgruntled of the duo (“Ya don’t need to know my name!” he growls) is not shy about his feelings: “I’m not discriminating; I hate kids,” he declares.
The mall cops are genuinely disturbed over the notion of interacting with would-be youthful offenders. “You’d be surpised what a kid could do with a toothbrush,” says Mongillo’s disgusted mall cop. “It’s all fun and games until someone pokes an ear out!”
As with any law enforcement show, the mall cops here encounter miscreants in need of handcuffing. When their car encounters problems with a “Check Engine” warning light, they take off on foot and encounter a trio of “ruffians” on the roof of the mall. “There are two litterers and one intended spit,” they declare as they go in for the collar. Needless to say, the mall cops are not as polished as their genuine constabulary counterparts – at one point one criminal is getting yanked down and locked into handcuffs while another criminal-type pauses to feed a dollar into a vending machine while pausing to wonder what soda to purchase.
Ondriezek and Mongillo are charming and genuinely funny young men who know how to wrap up a comic short with skill, style and original humor. As with “Living Healthy and Safely,” “Rent-a-Copz” is a marvelous parody of a distinctive genre – and, by itself, an original and very funny comedy short.