Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bon Cop, Bad Cop: Grade B

Bon Cop, Bad Cop (2006)

Colme Feore, Patrick Huard. Director Erik Canuel. (English and French, subtitled).

This Canadian comedy involves an English speaking cop from Ontario partnered with a French-speaking cop from Quebec. Actually they are both completely bilingual but the purpose of the setup is to allow each to make fun of the other’s language and culture, invoking many cultural stereotypes. The jokes and jibes are extremely funny if you know a little French and if you are familiar with Quebec. Having lived in Montreal, I was laughing until I had tears in my eyes, but I have to admit it is not a great movie overall.

There is a serial killer on the loose who targets hockey players and owners (hockey rivalry of course being a huge source of competitive pride between the two provinces). When a victim is found literally on the border, the two cops are forced by their superiors to become partners on the case. They investigate leads and get into fist fights on both sides of the border, enabling each to make fun of the other on his home turf. The plot gets confusing and there are lots of loose ends, so even though the killer is finally caught, the story doesn’t add up, but that’s not the point. It’s a comedy.

You have to be a fast reader if you don’t know French because the dialog is dense and sophisticated. Photography is good (although overusing green filters for some reason, which really gives a picture a dreary look. Why do cinematographers love green filters? ). Music is undistinguished except by its overloud volume. Direction is spotty, a gratuitous car chase, for example, inserted just for an arbitrary pacing change. Acting is very good by the two principals. I’m rating the film a bit higher than it deserves because I had such a good time, but I recognize it is not for everyone.

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