Director: Hannes Þór Halldórsson
Writer: Hannes Þór Halldórsson
Starring: Auðunn Blöndal, Egill Einarsson, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir,
Jón Gnarr, and Sverrir Þór Sverrisson
Iceland’s most capped international football player, Hannes Þór Halldórsson, recently retired from international football and has changed his focus onto screenwriting and directing. He has previous directed commercials and the video for Iceland’s 2012 Eurovision entry. His debut film, Cop Secret, is a traditional buddy-cop film that feels fresh because of its over the top characters and wacky comedy.
Bússi (Auðunn Blöndal) is a renowned super-cop, known for breaking the rules and getting great results. After shooting his partner in the shoulder while trying to capture a criminal, he is forced to team up with his rival Hörður (Egill Einarsson). There’s been a string of bank robberies, where no money is stolen. Bússi and Hörður work the case together, to figure out what the gang are after.
Almost everything about this film is over the top, from the insane car chase sequence at the beginning to the amount of people that are killed by small explosions. The violence is extreme and funny. To top it off, all the way through the film is an exaggerated score that sounds like something you would hear in a 1980s cop show. It’s a perfect fit for the film.
What makes Cop Secret so great is the character Bússi. He may get results with extreme interrogation tactics, and shooting hostages, but there is a lot of emotional heart with him as well. The film deals with him having feelings for his new partner and coming to terms with his sexuality. It’s shown well and not for comedy. As his new partner, Hörður, says – It’s 2021 no one cares.
The film is a blast from start to finish. There are so many buddy-cop films out there, and while the plot is fairly standard, with a plot that’s revealed towards the end with a large shoot-out, explosions and a bomb threat, there is more than enough laughs and great characters to make this an entertaining comedy.
Unsurprisingly, considering director Halldórsson’s history of football, the climactic sequences take place at the same time as a World Cup qualifier between Iceland and England. It’s not a massive plot point, although there is a nice running joke about Bússi’s bet on the final score.
Cop Secret is a traditional cop-story with over the top violence, characters and comedy. There’s a lot to love here and it’s well worth your time seeking it out. It’s being shown at London Film Festival 2021, with an online screening on the BFI player over the weekend.