‘Scuse me, sorry. Actually… no I’m not, and neither is this unapologetically Canadian movie. There are no moose or lumberjacks or hairy men drinking beer in a canoe; Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 gets a little more local than the national image of “Eh? Oop, sorry.” This gem of a movie paints a pretty clear picture of life along the Ontario-Quebec border, where a question like, “Where’s the nearest Tim’s?” begets an answer like, “Eh ben là dabord où sont les chars.” There’s nothing funnier than hiring professionals to depict frighteningly accurate culture.
Has David (Patrick Huard), a proud Quebec cop, lost his way and become a car thief? No, he is just undercover. His old partner, Martin (Colm Feore), is pleasantly surprised to see his friend working the inside of a case that Martin himself is tracking with the RCMP. The scumbags David has been rubbing shoulders with like to steal cars and send them off to some higher power. But what happens next? What’s the evil master plan? David and Martin follow the trail and discover a plot linked to terrorism, misguided youth, and a deep, unspoken mistrust between Canadians and their US counterparts. The Sûreté du Québec and the RCMP have to combine provincial and federal resources to identify those responsible and protect those unknowingly involved in this mysterious plot.
Yes there are such things as French Canadians (obviously – who else could invent poutine and a colourful binary use for religious vocabulary?) and yes two people can have a constructive, emotional conversation in both official languages. The subtitles are handy, but they don’t really do the language justice. For example, “Need to change the pace” is an English approximation of the extraordinarily difficult to translate, “Changer le gear.” Thankfully David and Martin have a pretty solid relationship that transcends the language barrier, making this a perfectly bilingual movie. Still, someone needed to capture the pure French Canadian essence — an impossible task without a character like MC (Mariana Mazza). She embodies the spirit of that classic Quebecer you hear on the bus and try to decide if they’re speaking Franglais or having a nervous fit. Is she being sincere or insulting? The best is watching the uptight, born and raised Anglophone, Martin, just laugh it off. MC has a lot of bark and overshares a few personal facts, but she means well.
The story starts with David playing the rugged, undercover thief flawlessly. As we move forward more things come to light and we take this show on the road to Maine, where the local police department labels David as a Swedish terrorist. Bless them. This is a few minutes before a Canadian stripper pounds the snot out of her boss after being “rescued”. French Canadians don’t take insults very well. Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 is packed full of surprises, and each corner takes us in a new direction. The relationship between Martin and David, cemented for life in the first installment, is as unbreakable as ever; but the terrain is constantly shifting. The twists come and go in an exciting way, making Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 interesting and unexpected.
…Although, it is a little long. The dynamic between David and Martin is magical – they have a true, unshakable bromance – but the movie just keeps going, up and down with most of the elusive clues handed to the team by accident. By the end, I’d almost forgotten how it all started. Still, I would watch it again for all the little things you only understand after living in this weird, frozen, maple-infested country. Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 doesn’t just point out that hockey is kind of a big deal; it straight up steals Carey Price’s helmet. By accident of course. No Montrealer would purposefully jinx the only team that’s ever mattered. I may not quite get the L.A pool parties, the Parisian night walks, or the Japanese train schedule, but I do get why you would never pass that helmet to a Leafs fan.
Bon Cop Bad Cop 2, like the first, is a laughing breath for all Canadians. Our money is colourful, our people are obliviously hilarious, and the RCMP has a secret office in a curling club. It is refreshing to see your neighbours on the big screen, with big-budget cars and a few ka-booms sponsored by the CBC, telling the same jokes your uncle shares with the unprepared barista. Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 is a riotous good laugh while also putting pressure on the sentimental and the heroic. C’est un true bon temps and should be classroom education for everyone who thinks Canadians spend their days walking pet beavers and apologizing for everything. Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 is a steady 7/10.