Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Bon Cop/Bad Cop: What makes a good Canadian movie?

Canada is a funny country, and when I say that I don't just mean that we have all the best comedians, because we do, but we're funny in a lot of different ways. We tend to keep a low profile on the world stage and then gripe that we don't get enough attention. We like when our citizens become successful in Hollywood or other places in the world but don't like it that they can't get famous here in Canada. Most of all we make tend to make region specific movies and then take issue with the fact that no one outside our region wants to watch them. It's an interesting contradiction we live with and if you really think about it, it's pretty funny.

We are getting better at it though, in recent years I have seen a number of Canadian films that are smarter, more relatable and better generally for a wider audience than just Canadians. In some cases we're a little ways off, in other ways we are way off. One of the films that tried to move us in the right direction is Bon Cop/Bad Cop. A film that's set and focused on Canadian culture, but with a distinctly more Hollywood feel. Buddy cop movies have been something of a lost art lately. There are all kinds of cop movies and TV shows out nowadays but buddy cops had their heyday in the 70s and 80s and haven't really recovered.

In some ways Bon Cop/Bad Cop is a throwback to those types of films but with more modern technology and special effects. Where I think that the film has issues is that it relies too heavily on Canadian stereotypes. The ones we have about ourselves like the French/English divide, with some truth to it but a lot of fiction. As well as more international stereotypes like an obsession with hockey and kindness. I have never been a big fan of playing to stereotypes, I prefer commentaries to out and out parody or exploting stereotypes, at least as a general rule. Things like Bob and Doug and Austin Powers are good in small doses but they can go too far if money gets involved.

Bon Cop/Bad Cop keeps things from going too far, but it also doesn't go far enough for a one shot movie like this. Austin Powers worked because it pushed the envelope in the comedy department but had enough held back for an extra couple of rounds. This movie doesn't go far enough for a single one much less several, not that they were planning on more but then not going far enough doesn't really make sense. It has a lot of good elements that make it fun to watch but it ultimately falls short of any serious message except that Canadian filmmakers don't have to act like Canadian filmmakers.

Bon Cop/Bad Cop: What makes a good Canadian movie? I haven't quite figured that out yet but I don't think this movie has it.

No comments:

Post a Comment