Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Wrong Cops

Wrong Cops; black comedy, USA / France / Russia / Belgium / Angola / Portugal, 2013; D: Quentin Dupieux, S: Mark Burnham, Eric Judor, Steve Little, Eric Wareheim, Arden Myrin, Jon Lajoie, Marilyn Manson, Eric Roberts Kurt Fuller

Police officer Duke sells drugs hidden inside dead rats to kids. He is a slob and doesn't care about anything while patrolling around in the streets in his police car. One day, he wants to sell drugs to police officer Sunshine, but since the latter does not have enough cash, Duke offers him a deal: Sunshine is to dispose of a half-dead man Duke accidentally shot in exchange for drugs. Sunshine wants to bury the man in his back yard, but accidentally finds 13,000$ in a bag and thus forgets about the deal. The half-dead man ends up in the apartment of policeman Rough, who wants to sell his music to a producer. When his daughter finds his photo in a gay porn magazine, Sunshine commits suicide. At the funeral, the drugged Duke accidentally gives a beautiful speech to the spectators.

"Wrong Cops" is one of the most puzzling and opaque films of the 21st century, even for an independent black comedy, which is why, depending of everyone's taste, the viewers will either like it or hate it: that there is such a level of grotesque spoofing at all is almost inconceivable. A blend of "Police Academy" and "Weekend at Bernie's" with a bizarre humor to the tenth of power, "Wrong Cops" gives an almost ionescoesque example of (acid) absurdity, starting already with the opening scene where a kid wants to buy some drugs on the street - while the drug dealer is a cop, Duke (!) and the drugs are concealed inside a dead rat (!!), and continues with several episodes which shows exaggerated flaws of the police force who do not care about anything, whereas to make the whole thing even more weird, the entire film is deliberately shot with a too much exposure from the shutter. Some jokes indeed have a punchline - for instance, the episode where one man found that his neighbor committed suicide inside his apartment, and tells the police that he probably did it "because he didn't want to make his own place dirty" or the hilarious moment in the office of a music producer, where the police officer Rough tries to explain to him that himself and the half-dead man are not costumes - yet several episodes and jokes still seem strained and misguided. Director Quentin Dupieux really takes it too far, yet at least he did not go overboard with too much excess which at least gave the film some measure. It is a 'guilty pleasure', but strangely, even though it is fun, already in the opening act it leaves the impression as if it leads to a dead end, which indeed it does, since not much else could have been done with the material, anyway.


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