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File:Bon cop bad cop.jpg

 Shoot First, Translate Later.

Bon Cop, Bad Cop is a Canadian Buddy Cop movie by Erik Canuel focusing on an Odd Couple formed between a French-speaking cop from Quebec and an English-speaking cop from Ontario.

It starts out with a dead body that has been found hanging from a street sign demarcating the border between Ontario and Quebec. Da Chiefs of both provincial polices, eager to foster the spirit of cooperation and to keep this case out of the federal RCMP's hands (so it looks good come budget times), assign two of their officers as partners to crack the case. From the Sureté Du Québec is David Bouchard (played by Patrick Huard), a chain-smoking, rules-breaking violent Cowboy Cop with an attitude. He finds himself partnered with Martin Ward (Colm Feore) of the Ontario Provincial Police, a "square-head" whom even his son finds dull.

Much of the movie's humor comes from how it plays with the stereotypes English-speaking Canadians have of French-speaking Québecois -- and, of course, vice-versa. The movie guest-stars numerous personalities from both sides of Canada such as Rick Mercer as an Expy of Don Cherry and Louis-José Houde as a Motor Mouth coroner.

The movie billed itself as a bilingual movie as both cops will often switch between each others' languages. It thus came with subtitle tracks for whatever language wasn't native to where it was released. The movie was a commercial success, and is Canada's highest (or, adjusted for inflation, third-highest) grossing movie.


Tropes used in Bon Cop, Bad Cop include:


  • Angrais: "Shit de fuck de shit de merde de shit de câlisse de TABARNAC!"
  • Bilingual Bonus: The movie is best appreciated with a proper understanding of both English and French, since the subtitles tend to have problem showing the colorful Quebec swearing. See the language course scene.
    • At one point, the coroner mentions that Rita the barmaid's name backwards is "à tir". Literally meaning "to pull", this is Quebecois slang for "getting with someone". This is not explained in either language during the film, but insinuated that the French audience would get it.
  • Bilingual Dialogue
  • Bilingual Backfire: Turns out Martin speaks French just fine, though with a strong Parisian accent.
  • Buddy Cop Show
  • By-The-Book Cop: Martin.
  • Captain Ersatz: The filmmakers obviously couldn't get the rights to the names of real National Hockey League teams, so equivalents to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens, and the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche are used. Ditto with Buttman, who is obviously NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
    • Likewise, Rick Mercer plays an Ersatz of Don Cherry, an infamous hockey commentator.
    • And many of the victims of the Tattoo Killer are ersatzes of NHL officials.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "Shit de fuck de shit de merde de shit de câlisse de TABERNAC!"
    • For context: in Quebec, swearing is largely based on corruptions of religious references. While it doesn't really translate, if you're familiar with the cultural background the "Tabernac" at the end is the biggest bomb of the bunch.
  • Cool Little Sis: Martin's little sister is much cooler then he is.
  • Cowboy Cop: David, later Martin starts being one.
  • Criminal Mind Games: The Tattoo Killer's MO.
  • Da Chief: Two of them, for the SQ and the OPP.
    • The SQ Chief is particularly fun -- imagine Da Chief, with RAEG set on eleven, looking like he's about to have five simultaneous heart attacks from yelling "TABARNAK!!!" almost loud enough to rip his vocal cords, and with plenty of Gratuitous English to boot.
      • We call it Franglais, or Fringlish. It works whether you're butchering English or French.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:

 You can't put me in a car trunk!

Oh, yes we can. It's a Quebec tradition!

    • To those who might not be up on Canadian history, please see Pierre Laporte and the October Crisis.
    • Random "oh-God-do-we-love-Tropers" fun fact: Hatchbacks are more popular in southern Quebec than anywhere else in North America.
  • Eagle Land: The obnoxious, Texas-accented American hockey tycoon, who loudly says "I'm gonna make hockey as Texas as a big fat American steak. Not that poison Canadian shit."
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Vive le Quebec libre!
  • Fun with Foreign Languages: Depends which language is foreign to the viewer.
  • Fun with Subtitles: The French version has subtitles over the English dialogue, with the reverse being true for the English version. The DVD comes with a bilingual option, turning all subtitles off.
    • Oh, it's a lot more twisted than that, you get 6 subtitle tracks (apart from the obvious "no subtitle"): 1-French subtitle during the english part and none during the french part, 2-English subtitles during the french parts and none during the english parts, 3- French subtitles during the english parts and english subtitles during the french parts, 4-French subtitles during the french parts and english subtitles during the english parts, 5- French subtitles at all times or 6- English subtitles at all time.
      • Tracks 4 and 5 also exist because Québec's dialect of French is often nigh-incomprehensible to European ears.
      • Tracks 5, 6, and possibly 4 are presumably Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as well.
    • The extra fun in-film happens when Martin reveals that he's fluent in French; each half of his Take That line is in a different language:

  Martin: Non, je ne parle pas français. Je me suis fait installer un petit gadget au cerveau and I see subtitles under people when they speak. (No, I don't speak French. I had a little gadget installed in my brain et je vois des sous-titres sous les gens quand ils parlent.)

 Martin: His heart is in Québec.

David: Ya l'Ontario dans l'cul aussi! (Translation: He's got Ontario up his ass)

Martin: What?

David: But his ass belongs to you.

 Martin: I'm sorry but I didn't get half of what he said...

David: (In French) Don't worry, me neither, but as long as we got different halves we're good.

  • My Friends and Zoidberg: « Matthieu aussi »
    • Justified. Bouchard is encouraging the girls (using the word "girls" specifically), so he still has to encourage the lone boy in the dance class too.
  • The Napoleon: Buttman
  • Odd Couple: Both cops represent regional stereotypes as seen from the other part of Canada. The Quebecer David is a disorganized, rude, foul-mouthed cowboy cop who lives in the past (appearing to never have gotten over that his wife divorced him) whereas Martin is boring and obsessed with the rules.
  • Playing Against Type: Patrice Bélanger is very well known for his numerous comedic roles. Here, he plays a psychotic killer.
  • Plot Hole: There are a tonne of these, including:
    • Why did the first body get dropped from a helicopter, other than to lead the cops right to the pilot?
    • Why did the Tattoo Killer kill Rita? There wasn't anything she hadn't already told the police.
      • Rita's death actually raises a whole host of plot holes; the killer would've had to have been in the bar when Martin and Ward showed up, followed them after they left, gone back to the bar, kidnapped Rita, picked up a bomb, gone back to the car, broken into the trunk, pulled someone out and put another person in while it's parked in front of a public school, then driven away. And, again, all for what reason?
    • Who was the Tattoo Killer? He's given no real motivation, and he's actually given no backstory whatsoever.
      • Even worse, there's a hint that he has a backstory; Bouchard comments on his strange accent, which sets up a revelation that's never actually revealed.
    • What did the apple/dollar sign/99 tattoo mean? Who was the next target?
    • What is Bouchard doing in Toronto when the next victim turns up? Martin has only just confirmed it's a related case, so it's not like he could be there because of it. Did he just miss Ward, or what?
    • Why do Ward and Bouchard go on Tom Berry's show? Why are they even in the studio in the first place?
    • Why does the Tattoo Killer go after Ward and Bouchard's families? He says it's to keep them from interfering, but the cops have been a step behind the whole movie, and have just hit a complete wall in their investigation. He has no reason at all to fear their involvement.
  • Punk in the Trunk: Complete with lesson on how to swear in French
  • Serious Business: The Tattoo Killer murdered people he thought were killing hockey in Canada by trading the best players to the States.
  • Take That:

  Bouchard: How come you have such a strong accent in English and French? Who was your teacher? Jean Chrétien?

    • Also one to Angelina Jolie. In regards to a nicely-dressed victim's post-mortem tattoo.

 Ward: Ça fait pas très classe. (Not very classy.)

Jeff: Angelina Jolie... elle en a, des tattoos. (Angelina Jolie, she's got tattoos.)

Ward: My point exactly.

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