We’ve all seen the classic buddy cop film where the ‘by the book’ cop gets paired up with an arrogant, often impulsive partner. We see it once again in Emile Gaudreault’s Father and Guns, however Gaudreault introduces interesting new elements to the cop cliché. It’s not just good cop vs. bad cop, it’s father vs. son, baby boomer vs. gen Xer, and these added dynamics are what makes Father and Guns stand out above the rest.
Jacques (Michel Côté) and Marc (Louis-José Houde) are cops who also happen to be father and son, making the two the perfect candidates to go undercover at a father-son therapy camp in hopes of convincing a mob boss’s lawyer (Rémy Girard) to turn evidence over and save the life of a fellow cop. While undercover as father and son seeking to fix their damaged relationship, true issues between the two come to light and risk compromising their mission, which isn’t made any easier by the at times overly helpful camp therapist (Robin Aubert).
Although predictable, it’s a good film, it’s funny with heart and fantastic subtleties to treat the viewer. The one big issue that I do have with the film however is that I find the target audience to be specific to Canada’s Quebecois population. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that, I just believe it could be a major factor in why non-Quebecois viewers might be turned off of the film, but hey, that’s their loss. The film is full of wonderful references to Quebecois society, one of which really stood out to me was a scene where the sons of the therapy group are talking about their baby boomer fathers being the first men in Quebec to break the “Catholic Mold” which is a reference to Quebec’s “Quiet Revolution”. The comedy is smart, clever, subtle and well played by the actors, and at times hard on the heart, does a fine job of showing a father’s love for his son. Although entirely in Canadian-French the film holds the English viewers interest with subtitles.
After viewing it’s easy to see why Father and Guns is one of the highest grossing French-Canadian films of all time and why a sequel was released in 2017. Get comfy and watch Father and Guns on Netflix now!
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