Cop Secret Image

Cop Secret

By Chris Salce | November 23, 2021

Buddy cop films are a staple of cinema. It seems that several come out each year. These films typically have a certain formula: one officer usually plays the straight man while the other is a stooge or more unhinged, creating conflicting personality dynamics. Their lieutenant is usually a hard a*s, and a big-time criminal tests the cops with a master plan to execute some major heist. Hannes Þór Halldórsson’s Cop Secret has all of these but with a twist that makes it stand out.

Cop Secret centers on Bússi (Auðunn Blöndal), who is trying to remain the toughest cop in the department. He is competing for the coveted spot against a new hotshot, Hörður (Egill Einarsson). After Bússi’s long-time partner gets tired of his antics, the two toughest cops have to work together to take down Rikki (Björn Hlynur Haraldsson), a criminal mastermind. He plans to pull off a heist while committing mass murder. So far, this action-comedy sounds like any other cop film from the last couple of decades, right? Well, here’s where things get a bit interesting: though Bússi is very machismo about everything he does, he is also confused about his sexuality which leads to an interesting dynamic between the protagonists.

The story is a basic one until the subplot of Bússi having conflicting sexual feelings for his new partner is thrown into the mix. It makes for some awkward and comedic scenes that are needed because this new angle is what sets the production apart from the glut of other titles in the genre. Several moments left me laughing, sometimes against my better judgment.

“…Bússi [is] having conflicting sexual feelings for his new partner…”

As it goes for the rest of Cop Secret, the main issue I have is with Rikki. The film is an Icelandic production, and all of the characters speak their native language except for Rikki. He speaks English with no real reason why he is the only one doing so throughout the film. However, that’s the least of the issues when it comes to the villain. Haraldsson plays Rikki as a madman who sounds like Donald Trump trying to impersonate Heath Ledger’s Joker. Yeah, it sounds ridiculous and could possibly even be funny. But, I could not get past the voice as it came off as more of a spoof of a villain rather than anything else.

This leads to the bigger problem: I am not sure if Halldórsson is helming a parody or an homage to buddy cop films of the 1980s and 90s. There seems to be a very thin line when it comes to that aspect of the film. Half the comedy benefitted the film, while the other half did not quite land. Even still, the action is very good, and the screenplay includes time to breathe in between one action beat and another. This also helps the plot as some action films tend to do too much without giving the audience a chance to realize what they just witnessed.

Cop Secret has all of the things people love about buddy films: good action and comedic moments. But due to a confusing tone and odd acting choices, some of it might be a bit too much for casual audiences.

Cop Secret (2021)

Directed: Hannes Þór Halldórsson

Written: Hannes Þór Halldórsson, Nína Pedersen, Sverrir Þór Sverrisson

Starring: Auðunn Blöndal, Egill Einarsson, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Sverrir Þór Sverrisson, etc.

Movie score: 6/10

Cop Secret Image

"…the action is very good..."

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