BON COP BAD COP 2 (Alain DesRochers). 126 minutes. Opens Friday (May 12). See listing. Rating: N
At a press conference for National Canadian Film Day in November, actor Patrick Huard joked that Donald Trumps election just made Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 so much funnier.
I can only assume Huard was referring to Trumps arrogance and ignorance, particularly on matters related to borders and Islam. The sequel to the decade-old Bon Cop Bad Cop has Colm Feore and Huards Ontario and Quebec detectives tripping south, bumping up against bumbling Americans while unravelling a nefarious plot that deals specifically with Islamophobia.
Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 chuckles at whats going on south of the border social issues as comic commodity without considering the problems in our own backyard. For instance, how does a Canadian film that deals with American Islamophobia cast only one identifiably Muslim character in a speaking part… as a terrorist?
Is this when we start laughing?
I guess it is funny that the Canadian answer to buddy cop pairings like Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart is Feore and Huard. Even funnier, the film opens with Huards undercover detective, Bouchard, rolling up to a nighttime custom car rally as if hes stumbled onto the set of a Fast & Furious movie.
But that franchise is celebrated for its diversity, and everyone in this opening scene is… well, you get the idea. Youll have to look to the handful of backup cops and henchman for hints that we, too, have a Black population.
In these very pages, weve discussed the lack of representation in Canadian films in an industry that makes it difficult for new and diverse voices. Our funders (not just government agencies like Telefilm but the distributors and broadcasters that team up on productions) lean toward commercial viability, recognizable names (in Canada, they are mostly white) and movies that emulate American genres at a fraction of the budget.
And thats how we get this slow-as-molasses action movie yearning for validation from Lethal Weapon fans. Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 is exactly whats wrong with the Canadian film industry. Its like wed rather fill Walmarts discount bin than make films that speak for us our stabs at commercial success once again come at the cost of cultural value.
But whatever. Donald Trump is funny.