Pleasing police back with a bang
Sequel thrusts Canuck lawmen into comedy-thriller that takes a few pokes at the U.S.A.
Near the end of the first “Bon Cop, Bad Cop 2” movie, straitlaced OPP detective Martin Ward tells his wild-man Sûreté du Québec counterpart David Bouchard to let a fleeing suspect run.
“All good things come to those who wait,” he shrewdly advises, as a “KABOOM!” punctuates his thought.
This seems in hindsight like prophecy, as the long-awaited sequel “Bon Cop, Bad Cop 2” finally arrives in theatres, more than a decade after the first film profitably proved that a Canadian movie — in both official languages, no less — can draw big Canadian audiences.
The sequel, directed by Quebec journeyman Alain Desrochers, may not be as volatile as the original encounter between Ward, played by Colm Feore, and Bouchard, played by Patrick Huard (who also wrote the screenplay). But it’s a good thing well worth waiting for.
Rather than ignore the intervening years, the film works them into a story that deepens character and fellowship, while enjoying a few laughs that are mainly at the expense of our neighbours to the south.
Both lawmen are greyer but they haven’t slowed much, as Bouchard demonstrates off the top when he heists a sporty Mustang from a chichi event and then leads its furious owners on a merry highway chase.
He’s working undercover, infiltrating a gang of Montreal auto thieves, who are part of an international crime ring led by a dude named Sylvio DiPietro (Noam Jenkins).
There’s more going on here than meets the eye. The story will cross not just provincial limits but also the Canada-U. S. border, as a hightech 21st-century terror plot unfolds, making this comedy also a thriller.
Expanded boundaries explain why Bouchard is soon reunited with his old frenemy Ward, who is now with the RCMP. Ward seems to have also elevated his general air of disdain toward his old sparring partner.
They’re still the proverbial odd couple: buttoned-down Ward prefers strict procedure while the scruffy Bouchard chooses rough expediency. But they’ve developed a grudging respect for each other that may even pass for friendship.
Their lives have gotten more complicated, and more serious. Ward, long divorced, is unhappily coping with life issues that include estrangement from his adult son Jonathan (Erik Knudsen). Bouchard, divorced in the first film, has happily reunited with his wife Suzie (Lucie Laurier), but their daughter Gabrielle (Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse) worrisomely aspires to be a cop.
The sequel is at once more polished and less sophisticated than its predecessor. The characters move effortlessly between English and French, profanity included, without making a big deal about it (there are subtitles).
The comedy sometimes strays into sitcom territory. Montreal standup comic Mariana Mazza plays an RCMP computer hacker named MC, who has that cliché movie skill to be able to tap into any computer anywhere, or even an orbiting satellite. But she’s a burst of female energy in a film and genre that desperately needs it.
The cops across the border in Maine are more Barney Fife than Barney Miller, at least until guns are drawn. They figure Bouchard has to be Swedish because they’ve apparently never met a Quebecer before. But how many times have we seen a Hollywood movie mocking Canadians for being hockeyloving hosers who always say “aboot” — and we don’t, eh?
Turnabout is fair play, and also makes for a movie that’s not just very good, but also trés bien. “Bon Cop, Bad Cop 2” is playing at Cineplex Cinemas Ancaster and SilverCity Burlington.
Colm Feore and Patrick Huard in “Bon Cop Bad Cop 2.”