Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bon Cop Bad Cop

I got to see the premier of this much-anticipated film last night. It was the final show of the incredible Fantasia Film Festival. The crowd was totally pumped and even more so that the director (Eric Canuel), producer (Kevin Tierny [thanks Martine!]) and stars (Patrick Huard, Lucie Laurier) were all there.

Bon Cop Bad Cop is the classic buddy cop picture. This time the conceit is that a body is found hanging halfway across the Welcome to Ontario sign exactly on the border of Québec and Ontario. Colin Feore plays the straight-edge, by-the-books Toronto cop and Patrick Huard, the smoking, swearing rogue Montreal cop. They hate each other immediately, though, of course, both have similar family problems of spending too much time on the job.

I'm not going to write a whole review of this movie, because as a Canadian it is your national duty to see this movie. I will say that it is pretty classic buddy cop picture, done quite well, but with some particularily hilarious scenes.

I would just like to applaud the producer and Patrick Huard (whose initial idea this was) who all seemed totally committed to making a movie that put the two solitudes together and made them have fun. This is exactly what this country needs. We need to recognize that we have incredible party potential.

No more of these boring violin movies, please. Let's have french and english speakers hanging out together, getting high, punching out suspects, blowing up cars, teaching each other how their language works, etc. Judging by the crowd's reaction, which was bursting out laughing at every joke, applauding many of them and ending with a standing ovation, the national will is there. This is a pretty bilingual crowd, probably 65% francophone mother tongue. After, there was a Q&A (which was pretty entertaining in and of itself) and it was clear that the production team was fundamentally driven by the idea that this movie would be made for all Canadians. They wanted every scene to have french and english in it. It will be released with sub-titles in both languages and they promised to produce the DVD with a non-subtitled option for the truly bilingual. Anytime any kind of pro-bilingual idea was mentioned, the crowd cheered. Perhaps the Fantasia crowd is particularly pro-Canadian because they have to read so many subtitles in english, but I got the distinctive feel that the vibe was for a united Canada.

I am pretty sure that Bon Cop, Bad Cop is going to be a guaranteed success here in Quebec. Patrick Huard is a huge star and it's been a while since a decent action-movie crowd pleaser has come out. English Canada now needs to make it's effort. If this movie does well, it will mean a renewed interest in Quebec cinema, which will mean they may release some of their awesome TV series and movies with english subtitles (Omerta for instance). It may also mean that some english directors will look to Quebec to make some movies that might appeal to this audience. All in all, a good thing. Popular culture drives change. The snotty asses at Tele-Film Canada and the Globe and Mail need to wake up to this.

So what should be next? I'm hoping for a Bon Cop Bad Cop sequel where Ward and Bouchard travel to B.C. to team up with a crunchy west coast redneck cop, and then a third one in the maritimes. Also, let's not forget the Bougons teaming up with the Trailer Park Boyz. Tabernac that, eh!


Martine said...

Just a precision: Alex Epstein is not the producer but the co-screenwriter. He has a blog here:

Sounds like you had fun! I had my Fantasia pass and wanted to go but couldn't make it.

OlmanFeelyus said...

Thanks for the clarification. I was trying to remember the producer's name. He was an anglophone, which I will also specify.

It was a serious blast. However, they made all the pass holders wait until all the ticket holders went through, so there were a lot of pass holders sitting on the stairs. Democracy!

Lisa Hunter said...

Love your idea for a sequel. Alberta versus BC would be fun to watch.

Anonymous said...

i really wanted to see it, i was out of town though. I met the director though, he was at the opening ceremony..anyways i'm happy that it promotes equlity and peace between the anglo and franco community

Buzby said...

I saw a preview for it before the Miami Vice showing in Toronto last weekend. It was generally well received by the audience - they laughed when they were supposed to. I look forward to checking it out.

Al B Here said...

How about that... looks like we have similar themes to our blogs. It'll be interesting reading about your experiences in comparison to my own.

Al B Here said...

On a sidenote, have you checked out the Torontoist.com review of the film? As I expected, they panned it.

OlmanFeelyus said...

My first reaction was outrage, but quite quickly it just subsumed itself into sympathy. They have such a hard time enjoying themselves! Toronto is like the popular girl in a small town high school, stressed out and miserable, passing judgement while everyone else is out in the parking lot smoking weed and having fun.

Al B Here said...

I've often said that Toronto suffers from a massive desperate need to be accepted as a world-class city or maybe just a massive inferiority complex. They want to be mentioned in the same breath as New York and Los Angeles. Not gonna happen anytime soon.

Buzby said...

Dude whatever with the "Toronto inferiority complex" or the high school girl metaphor. I went and saw this movie and it sucked. It was just like any other good cop/bad cop, asian cop/white cop, dishonest cop/honest cop movie.

OlmanFeelyus said...

He's from Toronto

Anonymous said...

My husband and I saw Bon Cop Bad Cop recently and had a great time. Laugh out loud fun.
Just a side note, Mr. Feore's first name is Colm. He's one of my favourites -- saw him last week as Fagin in Stratford's (Ontario) Oliver. He is also maintaining lead roles in two other Stratford plays, Coriolanus and Don Juan. Worth the trip!

Al B Here said...

Doesn't it figure that Buzby missed the whole point of the film... guess I'll have to spell it out for the Torontonians AGAIN. It's a social satire. Everything in the film is a send-up of Quebec and Ontario stereotypes. It was never meant to be taken as a "serious" story... and here I thought that we Canadians had a sense of humour??

Anonymous said...

I heard about bon cop bad cop on my radio but decided to wait till the dvd came out.
Even at the video store it was only because it was the last remaning recent release that I decided to see it.
My sides still hurt from laughter yes there was a short time in the movie where it seemed to slow down,but that time was needed by me regain my composure. As a english quebecker who was born and raised in toronto I was able to see the humor on both sides.
This is the best comedie I have seen in a long time. Horray and a job well done.

i heard about bon cop bad cop

Anonymous said...


I've seen this film too. As you said, it's a duty for every people who decide to live in Canada as I did 8 mounths ago...in Montréal. I've never been to Vancouver, neither to Toronto or some other big place in Canada, but I'd appreciate hearing grom this place. Every thing is new to me.