'Bon Cop Bad Cop 2'
‘Bon Cop Bad Cop’ felt like a dated relic in 2006. Now 11 years later, the sequel delivers the leftover scrapings of a relic, a sequel that will please only the most nostalgic of gas station DVD dumpster divers and a maybe a few of the producers involved, but no one else.
The sequel opens by at least acknowledging how much time has passed. After a fairly pedestrian opening action scene (there will be precious few of those in this “action comedy”), we’re reintroduced to toughie Montreal cop David Bourchard (Patrick Huard) working undercover in a car theft ring run by local mobsters. (Hey, it’s just like ‘Fast & Furious’! This franchise is hip and contemporary!). He bumps into his old reluctant partner RCMP officer Martin Ward (Colm Feore), and together they manage to hastily cover up their friendship while also cracking wise about how different they look. From there, they become partners again, infiltrating the car-stealing ring and making funnies about the differences between French and English speaking Canadians. Time has passed, so their families are all grown up. Bouchard’s son is no longer speaking to him but lives in Montreal. (Think he might be involved in the crime circuit? Impossible!). He also has a degenerative disease to raise the stakes. Then it slowly becomes clear that the crime they’re solving involves terrorism and some South of the Border crimes, allowing for more bad taste culture clash comedy with Americans. So exciting.
‘Bon Cop Bad Cop 2’ isn’t exactly a thrilling or relevant production. Then again, it’s not like that should be a surprise. While the occasional buddy/cop comedies still get made these days, they tend to be overt nostalgia acts gently mocking the clichés of the well-worn genre. You’d think that writer/star Huard or director Alain Desrochers might take advantage of that to make their own in-jokes about the labored nature of this sequel. Instead, they pretend this is still a thriving genre and folks won’t be bothered by the tedium. After delivering the few French/English Canada jokes that they have left, they’ve decided to dedicate this movie with some hip gags about terrorism and American arrogance. Had they done so back in 2006 for the original flick, it might have been edgy and exciting. Now, it’s just another genre cliché in a film defined by them. Worse, the way the blindingly white film depends on racial stereotyping for its terrorism commentary comes off as naïve at best and offensive at worst. I suppose that’s par for the course.
Worst of all, the movie isn’t just a failure in the comedy portion of the action/comedy formula, it’s also pitifully lacking in the action department. Budgetary limitations are obvious, with car chases carefully staged to avoid any damage to the vehicles that the production can barely afford and shoot-outs hastily staged in quick-cut edit farts that attempt to impose excitement onto barely competent choreography. Cheapness shouldn’t be an excuse for action movies anymore. Some of the best indie action flicks released these days cost a fraction of modern blockbusters and rely on skill, ingenuity and love of the form to pull off thrills for pennies. That should have happened here at least once, but didn’t. There’s so little action in the movie, it’s almost as if the filmmakers wish that they didn’t have to include it at all. After all, explosions detract from all the cultural stereotype jokes that they have in mind and the occasional French Canadian swear words (which are apparently always hilarious).
On the plus side, the central pairing remains strong. Patrick Huard and Colm Feore have a natural chemistry and seem to genuinely enjoy playing around together on screen, which translates to viewers even if the script has few scenes worthy of their skills. Unfortunately, no one else around them provides a single memorable character – not the cardboard villains and certainly not the new wacky millennial cop computer expert who seems to think screaming her lines as loudly as possible automatically makes them funnier.
In short, ‘Bon Cop Bad Cop 2’ is an absolute mess. I’m sure most viewers already assumed that based on the title alone, but on the off chance that anyone other than the greedy producers actually thinks this lame sequel will be worth seeing, it’s worth spreading the bad word.