Bon Cop, Bad Cop (2006) / Action-Comedy
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably R for nudity, sexuality, violence, and language
Running Time: 116 min.
Cast: Colm Feore, Patrick Huard, Lucie Laurier, Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse, Sarain Boylan, Louis-Jose Houde, Patrice Belanger, Sylvain Marcel
Director: Eric Canuel
Screenplay: Kevin Tierney
Review published January 12, 2007
A rare bilingual Canadian production (the first, if you believe the press releases), Bon Cop, Bad Cop is a unique entry in the buddy cop genre, but once you get past the French-English war of words, this is a mostly standard Hollywood formula film at its core. Luckily, the casting of the leads is solid, allowing for more than the usual share of witty repartee between the polar opposites, like the Odd Couple if they were given guns, badges, and a heinous serial killing case to crack. If you like 48 Hrs., Lethal Weapon, and all of the knock-offs that followed, this is the kind of movie for you.
The story: A man lies dead on the border between Quebec and Ontario, calling out the police from both provinces to investigate. David Boucher (Huard, Les Boys) is the tough, French-speaking loose cannon from Montreal and Martin Ward (Feore, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) is the by-the-book, English-speaking and more mild-mannered investigator from Toronto. The murder appears to be one out of several murders of prominent people in the world of professional hockey. David and Martin are commissioned to work together to solve the case, and while they don't initially get along, necessity forces them to work together to make sure that more people don't end up "on ice".
It's a safe call to make to recommend Bon Cop, Bad Cop for action movie junkies, as it definitely covers all of the bases you'd want when it comes to a mismatched cop thriller. The dialogue is played light, although nothing revolutionary, but the novelty of the multilingual format creates enough of a new ripple to keep it slightly different than the rest of the heap. Much of the comedy stems from the difference between the two languages, especially as they relate to the prevailing attitudes between the provinces. A few jabs are also thrown at the United States for their so-called corruption of Canada's most hallowed pastime.
Bon Cop, Bad Cop has quickly become one of the top grossing Canadian films in history (a record breaker in its native country), and I suspect that Canadians will be more in tune with its many knocks on Canadian culture than outsiders. Hockey fans should also enjoy the many references to the game, and viewers who dig high octane cop comedies of even the most generic variety will also find it entertaining. Bar fights, hothead captains, hot babes, and fast cars -- every convention is explored without restraint, so expect the expected. If you normally eschew dumb action fodder, it probably isn't worth it, as the stereotypes are on the broad side, with quite a few moments of over-the-top action just for the hell of it. This one's strictly for the genre fans, who will no doubt be happy for something to tide them over until the next entry in the Rush Hour series.
©2007 Vince Leo