Kopps (2003)

kopps

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Those familiar with the 2001 film Super Troopers may get a kick out of Sweden’s answer to that very film, thanks to its core cast of titular cops.

A small town is policed by only a force of four. Jacob longs to find a girlfriend and finds himself on disastrous first dates. Benny is obsessed with acting out American action films and even constantly finds himself dreaming as if he is the greatest cop on the land. The last two are married couple Lasse and Agneta, who are always at odds with each other, which is why Lasse is partnered with Jacob and Agneta partnered with Benny. As much as they have earned the respect of the townsfolk, there lies one little problem. The town has not seen a serious crime in ten years.

The Central Bureau have gotten wind of the situation and have sent in Jessica to inform the police force that their station will be shut down due to lack of crime. Interestingly enough, this causes not only professional problems for Jacob, but personal problems for him as well as the night before he learned the news, he met Jessica at a bar and the two hit it off well. Jacob and Lasse come up with a scheme to create fake crimes to boost the stats in order to save their station. Soon enough, Benny and Agneta are also in on the scheme, but will they be able to keep it going long enough to save their station?

This Swedish comedy can be said to be the answer to Super Troopers in the sense that like their Broken Lizard counterparts, these are bumbling cops who want to but just can’t seem to take their job seriously. However, where the Super Troopers have to solve a crime here, these cops commit fake crimes in order to save their station. Josef Fares’ directing and writing (along with Mikael Håfström and Vasa) is quite funnily executed as we see not only the cops on the so-called job by hanging out at the local waffle hot dog place, but we take a look at the personal lives of two of the cops, Jacob and Benny.

Fares Fares (the director’s older brother) does quite well as the lovestruck Jacob, who is also the mastermind of the elaborate scheme to save the station. While we see him on a disastrous date to open the film, it is his eventual feelings towards the very person hired to shut him down that helps him break away from the job. As for Benny, Torkel Petersson is the funniest of the four cops as he has this obsession with being a tough cop, even showing him take out criminals in the most hilarious of ways. Okay, so they are him exaggerated dreams, but at home, we see a different side of Benny, who should be mentioned, speaks quite an elaborate amount of English. In fact, he’s the only character who speaks English aside from learning how to speak gangster from teen neighbor Mike, played by Michael Fares (the director’s son).

Playing the bickering married cops are Göran Ragnerstam and Sissela Kyle and seeing them fight, it’s clear why they are partnered with the other two. Agneta feels Lasse doesn’t give her attention or affection. Lasse tends to make fun of Agneta’s physical features at one point and in a shocking move, Agneta even asks Benny about them during one of their patrols. Eva Röse is perhaps the most serious minded of the bunch as Jessica, who not informs the cops of the shutdown, but seems to like Jacob, despite a mistake he makes upon learning of the shutdown. Harry Goldstein provides further comic relief as Göran, the town drunk who unwittingly helps out in the scheme only he tends to blab at the wrong time, thus making others somewhat suspicious.

Kopps is quite a funny comedy from Sweden involving bumbling cops who will do what it takes to save their station, but these guys are far from being “super troopers”.

WFG RATING: B

A Memfis Film AB Limited production. Director: Josef Fares. Producer: Anna Anthony. Writers: Josef Fares and Mikael Håfström Vasa. Cinematography: Aril Wretblad. Editing: Andreas Jonsson and Michael Leszczylowski.

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

 

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