Bon Cop, Bad Cop

7 out of 10


Saving Buttman? Tabernac!

Easily one of the funniest and most unique Canadian pictures in years, albeit deeply flawed, "Bon Cop, Bad Cop" based on an idea by Montreal stand-up comedian Patrick Huard ("Les Boys") and directed by Eric Canuel (of "Le Survenant" fame for anyone who is familiar with Quebec cinema) have attempted to combine the best of both worlds, creating a completely bilingual suspenseful comedy containing plenty of twisted Quebecois humour, insider Canadian jokes and a whole new slant on English-French relations.

Following the mysterious murder of a businessman who is found draped over the "Welcome to Ontario" sign at the Quebec border, police from both sides arrive to determine who's jursidiction the body is in. When the well-dressed mild-mannered Ontario detective Martin Ward (Colm Feore) is confronted by the hip, hot-headed and used car weilding Quebec detective David Bouchard (Patrick Huard) the sparks fly and following a searing arguement which leaves the businessman split in two, both are forced by their respective departments to their horror, to work together to solve the murder. A murder which is soon to turn into a string of violence spanning across both provinces.

Unfortunately like most Canadian releases, "Bon Cop, Bad Cop" contains more it's share of over-the-top scenes. While not quite as tedious as "Da Vinci's Inquest," the crime aspect of the film is thin and the appearance of Rick Mercer as a Don Cherry-type newscaster gives it the effect of a sort of extended "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" episode. However, if you can look beyond the patchwork of stand-up comedy, corny drama and overly dark and largely unexplained violence, it features some priceless moments which deserve to become cinematic classics. A sort of "Tango and Cash," from some near escapes in a bathtub, some serious mistreatment of evidence to homicidal beavers, barbed comments and cruel puns, there is some hard hitting and clever humor here for which Canadians can be proud. Particularly, if you are a fan of Quebec pictures appearances by veteran actor Pierre Lebeau as Chretienesque Captain Lebeouf and comedian Louis-Jose Houde will not disappoint. Also Colm Feore and Huard, with their consistant and brilliant performances are so captivating they somehow manage to pull the picture through most of it's potentially disasterous moments with style. Usually the bit part henchman, this was likely veteran Bostonian Stratford theatre and film actor Feore's breakthough role, with his perfect French and excellent expressions.

If nothing other finding out how to push an elevator button in a beaver suit, "Bon Cop, Bad Cop," with it's budget of $8 million and largest ever opening weekend gross of a Quebec film at $1.4 million, is still a tres bon watch.

No, I don't speak French. I See Subtitles Under People When They Speak

Film Critic: Jennifer M Lillies