Starring Patrick Huard. Rated 14A. In English and French, with English subtitles
The original 2006 Bon Cop Bad Cop was so popular that fans would yell the infamous Québécois swear “Tabarnak!” at its stars in the street.
Those fans, who helped the silly Franglais cop thriller-comedy become one of the highest-grossing Canadian films of all time, should be mostly satisfied with the sequel, 11 years later. Or happy enough to at least shout “Calice!” should they spot stars Colm Feore and Patrick Huard; the curse is used amply, lovingly, and hilariously this time out, as a noun, adjective, and verb.
The word calice’s main user, and the source, again, of the film’s biggest laughs, is the now silver-haired Huard, an elastic comedian who’s as adept at physical goofiness as he is at pulling off his role as a cop posing as a tough car thief. His character David’s runs of bad luck, fits of rage, and conflicts with his uptight Ontario nemesis Martin Ward (Feore) are hugely amusing. He’s matched by some good supporting players, notably his high-tech hacker MC (Mariana Mazza), who actually humps her computer stand in a victory dance at one point.
The performances are key because the plot is inane—no worse, perhaps, than the original Bon Cop’s hockey-murder story. David finds that what seems like a basic chop shop is actually part of a sinister but far-fetched cross-border bombing plot. The U.S. involvement leads to the movie’s funniest stretch by far, when a bunch of hick Maine police try to figure out what strange language the infuriated David is swearing in after they refuse to believe he’s French. (“I thought you said you was Canadian!”) Calice, indeed. Hating on redneck Americans? Now, there’s a pastime that can unite even French and English Canadians.
Despite some glossy car chases (maybe more than we need) and violent run-ins with evil mob bosses, the film feels too long for the fluff that it is. What you come for is the chemistry between the central odd couple, with Feore’s Martin extra uppity here due to his RCMP promotion.
For all the geographically specific fun it has with French-English relations, Bon Cop Bad Cop 2, like the first installment, still feels like it’s unapologetically shooting for a mainstream audience. And how calice un-Canadian is that, eh?