BON COP BAD COP
STARRING Colm Feore, Patrick Huard and Rick Mercer
DIRECTED BY Eric Canuel
Opens Friday, August 18
Billed as Canadas first bilingual feature film, Bon Cop Bad Cop doesnt have a lot to live up to.
I wish I could say it did, but even those of us who consider ourselves proud, patriotic Canadians have a hard time defending this countrys cinematic history.
Despite notable (and largely arty Quebecois) exceptions, there are few Canadian films that look like they were made for more than $1,000, and even fewer that dont suffer from the weird, Toronto accent-y kind of acting weve all come to recognize thanks to the Showcase channel. This lack of expectation works in Bon Cop Bad Cops favour, as I was pleasantly surprised at just how much I enjoyed this action-packed black comedy.
When the body of a prominent hockey official is discovered strewn across a Welcome to Ontario/Quebec border billboard, detectives from the two disparate jurisdictions are forced to work on the case together cue stereotype hilarity. If that wasnt Canadian enough, the bad guy is a hockey-fixated nutcase obsessed with killing off those he deems responsible for selling out our national sport to the Americans.
Starring the familiar faces of Colm Feore (CBCs Trudeau) and French-Canadian comic actor Patrick Huard on whose original concept the film is based Bon Cop plays off the age-old differences between the French and English in Canada. Luckily, Leila Basen, Kevin Tierney and Alex Epsteins deftly written dialogue cracks like a whip, ridding Bon Cop of cheesy clichés that could have easily arisen.
This doesnt mean Bon Cop is cliché free. The entire movie is based on well-worn English and French stereotypes (Feores officer is a conservative, by-the-books nerd, while Huards Montreal cop is a sexy, arrogant rule-breaker). But the film wholeheartedly embraces these stereotypes and clichés with hilarious results.
The one-liners fly left, right and centre and Huard and Feores chemistry is as good as any Hollywood buddy-cop pairing. In another nod to our uniquely Canadian foibles, Rick Mercer makes a short but memorable appearance as a loudmouth Don Cherry-esque hockey commentator in a ridiculously over-the-top, yet very funny scene
As entertaining as it is, Bon Cop is about half-an-hour too long. The action and pacing are sometimes sacrificed because the filmmakers seem too interested in hammering into our heads that despite our lingual differences, were all just goofy Canadians on the inside.
Whether Bon Cop Bad Cop will make any impact at the box office is anyones guess, but it is certainly one of the best mainstream Canadian films to come out in years.