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!