Note: this a new series of reviews I'm installing on Le Mot du Cinephiliaque. Since I was born and raised in the Province of Québec I've decided to present and review some of the films that populate my culture and that represents the Cinema of here. The feature will be called after our license plate motto: "Je me souviens" for "I remember".
Bon Cop, Bad Cop (Erik Canuel, 2006)
When the body of the executive of hockey Benoit Brisset is found on the billboard of the border of Quebec and Ontario, the jurisdiction of the crime is shared between the two police forces and detectives David Bouchard from Montreal and Martin Ward from Toronto are assigned to work together. With totally different styles, attitudes and languages, the reckless David and the ethical Martin join force to disclose the identity of the Tattoo Killer, a deranged serial-killer that is killing managers of hockey.
This local box-office success, is a mix of comedy and action. This is an attempt to accomplish a Quebecer version of Die Hard sans Bruce Willis and the originality that the first film of the franchise set to raise the bar of action films. This attempt at coupling a French Quebecer cop with an English speaker policeman like a screwball comedy is another recipe we’ve been served hundreds of time. The only way the film works is because the lead, Patrick Huard is a famous and widely loved comedian in the Province of Québec.
The co-star, Colin Feore, playing the straight man and the Ontarian, gives a much better performance than the overrated Huard. The later never hide the fact that he wanted to someday win nothing less than an Oscar. He also directed two films (Les trois petits cochons, Filière 13), his presence in Ken Scott’s Starbucks is more memorable and demonstrates more subtlety and depth.
As for the story, this is a classic almost racist attack of the differences between the Quebecers and the Ontarians. Sometimes the material can be interesting but most of the time it is more on the old jokes that’s been in the air since the 1960’s in Quebec.
In remember seeing Bon Cop, Bad Cop in theaters and having almost not laugh or even chuckle at all during the film. Being a fan of comedies and a good public, it was not a good sign. This is a tired recipe that was made to please a specific public considering that people would get the jokes and the many forced situations. However, most of the general public liked the film which made it one of the greatest successes of the Quebec film industry. Approach with caution.