Jul 22, 2014

Review: Kopps (2003)

There's no shortage of comedy-cop movies in Hollywood but there's definitely room for a Swedish entry to be a part of the club. Josef Fares made his mark with Jalla! Jalla! which was his directorial debut in 2000. It's a comedy film, but one that I think is pretty personal for Josef which also stars his brother Fares Fares. No joke, that's really his name.

Fares Fares also has a part in Kopps and Josef Fares had the help of a certain Mikael Håfström to write the script with him. Håfström has since gone on to direct some relatively large Hollywood projects with varying degrees of success. Take Escape Plan with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger which was dope I tell you! 1408 was pretty good too but his best work is Evil which was done in his native country of Sweden though.


Genre: action, comedy
Directed by: Josef Fares
Produced by: Anna Anthony
Written by: Josef Fares, Mikael Håfström, Vasa
Music by:  Daniel Lemma, Bengt Nilsson
Running time: 90 minutes
Production company: Memfis Film, Film i Väst, Nordisk Film- & TV-Fond, etc
Distribution company: Sonet Film
Running time: 90 minutes
Country: Sweden
Language: Swedish
Budget: 22,000,000 SEK
Box office: 52,296,701 SEK (Sweden)

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Fares Fares, Torkel Petersson, Göran Ragnerstam, Sissela Kyle, Eva Röse, Christian Fiedler, Erik Ahrnbom, Harry Goldstein, Michael Fares, Viktor Friberg, Jan Fares




Högboträsk is a small town that has no crime to speak of. All the same, there is a police force who mostly deal with problems like runaway cows or installing ceiling fans for store owners. They have time for nice long lunches of waffles and sausages and they can play street hockey or poker with old ladies during down time. When Jessica Lindblad (Eva Röse) of the police management board shows up one day, she declares that the station is to be shut down because of a lack of crime. Jacob (Fares Fares), Benny (Torkel Petersson) and some other cops decide to change the statistics a bit and introduce a little crime into the streets. They can't just let the station close after all can they?



The humour in Kopps is very understated and muted for the most part. Not in a bad way though. The jokes rely on the dialogue and the delivery from the actors who all make Kopps a pretty funny movie. I like that brand of humour and I like how Benny and Jacob are well defined. What I mean is that they have their own recurring jokes which don't get tiresome. Jacob is a quiet kind of guy who has an obsessive problem of being unable to exit a car without honking the horn in a certain way. Benny on the other hand wants to be that cool cop you'd see in America and he has ridiculous action-cop fantasies as a result.

Not everything in Kopps is that funny, namely the two action-cop fantasies that Benny has which could have been chopped down a bit. Most of the material works though which is good. I feel like Kopps wants to be a satire of cop action/comedies but a movie like Hot Fuzz does that way better. Also, some of the more action-oriented scenes are not that well executed.  They're decent enough but they don't capture the actual action as well as they could.

I like the story that Josef Fares, Mikael Håfström and Vasa have put together though. The premise is great and the pacing is comfortable which has the effect of making the movie seem longer than it is.  The actors all hit the right notes at the right time but I will say that with the subtitles I felt like I was missing some of the punch lines. That only happened once or twice so it wasn't much of a big deal anyway.

Kopps isn't the funniest movie ever but it's worth a shot if you feel like a change of pace. Kopps doesn't get in your face nor does it try to pry your jaws open to make you laugh. Below the surface lies a love for all Hollywood action and cop movies which I think we can all appreciate. Kopps is not as good as Josef Fares directorial debut  Jalla! Jalla! but it's pretty good.




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