Bon Cop, Bad Cop

Director: Érik Canuel

Stars: Colm Feore, Patrick Huard

Rating: 14A

*** (out of five)


For some Canadianmoviegoers, news of a bilingual reworking of Lethal Weapon in which the Quebecois detective is the crazy guy, and his Ontarian counterpart the buttoned-down family man, will make them wonder whether they’re having some kind of cerebral event, or if the producers were when they greenlit the project.

I admit it; I was one of them.

Because when you do try to explain it, Bon Cop, Bad Cop — which, by the way, is not only a bilingual reworking of Lethal Weapon, but a bilingual reworking of Lethal Weapon set in and around the world of professional hockey — sounds like a really awful idea for a movie.

But here’s the surprising thing: It’s not that bad.

Bon Cop, Bad Cop isn’t a great film, by a long shot, but the stunts are nicely executed, the overall package is pretty slick, and there are even a couple of clever jokes about cross-border relations tucked away in there.

More importantly, the performances are a sight better than they need to be, which is really the key to any buddy-cop picture.

Colm Feore brings his traditional elegance to the role of a squeaky clean OPP officer, and is clearly enjoying his understated byplay with Quebec comedian Patrick Huard as his requisite loose-cannon partner.

Director Érik Canuel is perhaps a little more influenced by the grimy, jittery Seven aesthetic than he’d like to admit, but he makes sure everything cuts together nicely, and even though the script — by Huard, Leila Basen, Alex Epstein and producer Kevin Tierney — lays on the hockey humour pretty thick, it’s hard not to get drawn into the larger story.

Even if it does have the occasional subtitle.