Review: Cop Secret

Written and directed by Hannes Þór Halldórsson, co-written by Nína Petersen and Sverrir Þór Sverrisson, a cop in denial of his sexuality, falls in love with his new partner, while investigating a string of bank break-in. Starring: Auðunn Blöndal, Egill Einarsson, Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir, Vivian Ólafsdóttir, Sverrir Þór Sverrisson, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson and Júlíana Sara Gunnarsdóttir.

Uber macho action flicks and queer romance aren’t exactly a traditional pairing and yet Cop Secret clearly proves they’re a great match. Especially when talking about being in fierce denial of your sexuality, an intensity that’s matched extremely well with a high-octane cop story. It walks the line of being parody without becoming overtly ridiculous, silly but not so much that it’s thrown in your face. However, that style of comedy does bring a certain level of predictability, so there aren’t really many surprises at work here. That said, it’s a film aiming for the key goal of entertaining and it achieves that undoubtedly. The pacing peters out slightly in the second half, it’s a typical problem of an action film, pushing so much so fast, it can’t hold up that energy all the way through but it’s only in a minor fashion.

Hannes Þór Halldórsson’s direction taps directly into the high-adrenaline, testosterone fuelled atmosphere, as well as bringing through a homage to 1970s cinema. The action sequences are well choreographed, the story may have a tone of parody but that doesn’t dampen the quality of the fights and chases at all. Its atmosphere and energy are distinctly clear from the get-go and it’s consistent throughout. Mixing in the aggression and violence with themes of self-acceptance, coming out and toxic masculinity works surprisingly well. It interestingly doesn’t cheapen the emotions of those topics, without breaking its comedic, over the top style. Part of that is it feels aware of the line for going too far and never gets close to crossing it.

Auðunn Blöndal and Egill Einarsson make for a strong leading duo, they’re a handsome couple and a kick-ass pairing. The spark between them is a bit more blunt, rather than a gradual build, but they work together very well, and they’re hugely enjoyable to watch. It’s fun to see how Einarsson’s Hörður has such a positive influence over Blöndal’s Bússi. Sverrisson has a lot to add to the film’s humour, his quickly ending patience with Bússi’s need to be the best and prove himself is highly entertaining. Especially his choices in childcare which add his own version of recklessness.

Cop Secret takes the action rule book and shapes it into something new, playing with classic elements, poking fun and adding a charming gay romance. It has a huge energy, it’s full of great action sequences, it toys around with parody but never goes too over the top. The story does slow down slightly in the second half, it’s tricky to maintain after you’ve started full-octane but the plot itself is enjoyable. It’s a fun spin on your classic action flick with a big sense of humour and plenty of adrenaline.

Verdict: ✯✯✯½ | 7/10

Available on Digital from 16 May
Reviewed as part of BFI Flare 2022

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