The focus on Canadian films in July continues, with this guest review of Bon Cop Bad Cop by freelance writer and film-lover, Jordi Kerr. Thank you very much Jordi for your excellent contribution! Check out Jordi’s review of Canadian action-comedy film Bon Cop Bad Cop (Good Cop Bad Cop) after the jump.
Bon Cop Bad Cop (Canuel, 2006) is the ultimate buddy-cop movie for lovers of sophisticated humour and Canadian culture. When a body is discovered on top of the sign dividing Ontario and Québec, detectives Martin Ward and David Bouchard are forced into a partnership that neither wants. Ward (Colm Feore) is from Toronto, Ontario. Native language: English. Style: by the book. Bouchard (Patrick Huard) is from Montréal, Québec. Native language: French (yes, subtitles). Style: whatever it takes.
Bon Cop Bad Cop is enjoyable as a comedy of errors and opposites, but what makes it great is that its humour transcends many levels. More than good cop, bad cop; straight-laced vs. reckless, it is English vs. French, Ontario vs. Québec. The script is teeming with bilingual jokes, from a simple, “I just insulted you to your face in a language you don’t understand”, to an illustrative lesson in the versatility of the Québec French swear word “tabarnak”.
You don’t have to be a lover of Canadian culture to appreciate the film. The central mystery is the hunt for a psychopathic murderer, nicknamed the “tattoo killer”. As the body count rises the only clear lead Ward and Bouchard have is that every victim is connected to the sport of ice hockey. Bon Cop Bad Cop is written in such way that even someone completely ignorant about sport (such as myself) can follow the plot as it twists and turns. There are always enough clues to keep you intrigued and anxious, and enough mystery to keep you guessing.
While it is easy to idolise Bouchard for his devil-may-care attitude, and scorn Ward for his slavish devotion to the rules, both characters are given extra dimension by their family connections. Ward is as empathic as he is pitiable in his attempts to connect with his teenage son, while Bouchard is far from bad-ass when cheering on his daughter at her ballet recital. Both Feore and Huard bring elegance and heart to their very different portrayals of modern masculinity. Lucie Laurier also has a small but stellar role as Bouchard’s ex-wife, Suzie. The emotion tied into their complicated relationship transcends any language.
Bon Cop Bad Cop goes to a lot of effort to make itself unique, but never forgets its genre. If you want muscle cars, fights, chases, and explosions, Bon Cop Bad Cop delivers them with frenetic cinematography, a pumping soundtrack, and a sharp side of wit.
If you’re not a fan of Canadian cinema before seeing Bon Cop Bad Cop, you will be afterwards.
By Jordi Kerr.
Thanks again Jordi! Please be sure to check out Jordi’s website.