What better time to get acquainted for the first time with one of the best Canadian films of all time and it’s new sequel 11 years later.
Synopsis: When a crime is committed on the border of Quebec and Ontario, everyone is forced to come together, whether they want to or not. As the investigation gets underway, we meet David Bouchard and Martin Ward, members of their respective provincial police forces who are forced to work together. The two men couldn’t be more different. In fact, the only thing they appear to have in common is that they are both cops, albeit cops with totally different styles. (IMDB)
Starring: Patrick Huard, Colm Feore, and Lucie Laurier
Writers: Patrick Huard, Leila Bassen, Kevin Tierney, and Alex Epstein
Director: Erik Canuel
Running Time: 116mins
In terms of buddy cop films, there wasn’t anything particularly new here with the story being rather cliche, seeing a pair of detectives named David Bouchard (Huard) and Martin Ward (Feore) team up on a case. What sets this one apart and probably why it was so popular when it was originally released back in 2006 while becoming the highest-grossing Canadian film of all time (and still is) was how different these detectives were with one from Ontario (Ward) and the other from Quebec (Bouchard).
What was fun about the film was how it played into the many differences between the cultures of both provinces through either character with Ward speaking mostly in English and Bouchard speaking mostly in French. Ward was more of the straight man of the two while Bouchard was more reckless. They were opposites at first with them eventually coming together. This was all great to watch and also funny thanks to the writing and the excellent chemistry between Ward and Bouchard. The film deals with some dark subject matter so the comedy did a good job at breaking up these serious moments.
The action was very well done and exciting to watch. The story was suspenseful but it felt like it was going nowhere until the second half. Once the was more resolution to the plot, the villain and his motivations were a little disappointing but that is more of a minor complaint as it was more about the journey than the destination.
The acting was the best part of the film with the performances from Huard and Feore and their chemistry was the driving force of the story. They were captivating to watch together and made up for the unoriginal plot and storytelling. The supporting cast also had their moments, especially Pierre Lebeau as Bouchard’s captain. He can definitely swear in French with the best of them.
Overall, this was a very fun action comedy that subverted the usual buddy cop film tropes while exploring Canadian culture in a smart and entertaining way thanks to a great script and also features excellent performances by Patrick Huard and Colm Feore.
Synopsis: Eight years have passed since Martin Ward and David Bouchard met in a spectacular way on the Quebec/Ontario border. The two men have remained friends, but time takes its toll and they have not spoken in almost a year. In this second chapter, Ward and Bouchard must face an important car theft ring that turns out to be a lot more than they bargained for. Enemies will prove to be the ones we did not expect and Ward and Bouchard will discover that life goes on and lots of things change, while some just… remain the same. (eOne Films)
Starring: Patrick Huard, Colm Feore, and Lucie Laurier
Writer: Patrick Huard
Director: Alain Desrochers
Running Time: 126mins
They saw that some things get better with age and that was surely the case here. The first film was a very fun action comedy that intelligently played up the differences between Ontario and Quebec. While it perhaps focused too much on the cultural commentary at the expense of the story, this sequel managed to find a better balance between the two and was all the better for it.
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen detectives Martin Ward (Feore) and David Bouchard (Huard) and we quickly learned that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Since the last time we saw them, they’ve lived mostly different lives but happen to run into each other while they were coincidentally working on the same case, leading them to once again work together. Not everything worked after all that time, however, that was a minor complaint.
The case was a little more elaborate this time around but it would be fun watching Ward and Bouchard do just about anything. It also meant seeing the two of them apart more often than not, giving Bouchard plenty of moments to shine while being more of a smartass. Ward had his moments as well. They were both hilarious here thanks to a great script (coincidentally written by Huard). There was a lot more comedy here than in the first film. Most of it still touched on cultural differences but it was weaved better within the story with most of it working.
This was a very funny film but there were also plenty of more serious moments. There was some personal drama between the characters which happened to play into the main story. The action scenes were well done and the story was suspenseful yet just like the first film, the villain was disappointing and also, just like the first film, it was more about the journey than the destination.
The acting was again the best part of the film with the chemistry between Huard and Feore being even better than the first film. Their excellent performances were still a driving force here with Huard standing out more and providing an amazing and memorable comedic performance, allowing him to steal most of the scenes he was in. The supporting cast also stepped up with Mariana Mazza as a techie named MC having some great moments and stealing scenes of her own.
Overall, this was a hilarious, action comedy sequel, improving on the first film with a better script and more comedy while still providing excellent performances by Colm Feore and a standout comedic performance by Patrick Huard.
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