Dr. Andrea Braithwaite: "Bon Cop, Bad Cop: Canadianizing the Buddy Cop Film"

Fri. Sep. 25 12:30 PM - Fri. Sep. 25 01:30 PM
Contact: Kevin Walby 204.786.9105
Location: 2M70

Dr. Andrea BraithwaiteÉrik Canuel’s Bon Cop, Bad Cop is one of Canada’s most commercially successful films. Part of this success comes from the trope of hilariously mismatched cops — the buddy cop formula written across the French/English divide. By situating this genre within a set of Canadian places, histories, and crimes, the buddy cop framework recreates the Canadian narrative of two solitudes as a timeless Canadian condition. BCBC’s criminal – the Tattoo Killer, determined to save hockey from its increasing Americanization – indicates an unease about English Canada’s place in an increasing global mediascape. The trope of two solitudes becomes embedded in BCBC’s buddy cop formula to motivate the film’s core themes and character conflicts, and to identify the real threat as a Canadian who cannot be readily placed on either side. The film’s comedic use of provincial differences, language barriers, loser criminals, and co-dependent heroes effectively translates the tale of “two solitudes” into a buddy cop film. By emphasizing the affinity of these two storytelling strategies, BCBC offers a specific and familiar image of a coherent Canada in an increasingly postnational cultural context.