Quentin Dupieux's Wrong Cops Is a Tedious Exercise in Hipster Lowbrow Comedy

Quentin Dupieux's Wrong Cops Is a Tedious Exercise in Hipster Lowbrow Comedy

From its wasted cameos (Marilyn Manson as a moody high school outcast; Eric Roberts as a sleazy Hollywood insider) to its witless queer subplots, writer-director Quentin Dupieux's Wrong Cops is a tedious exercise in self-consciously hip lowbrow comedy.

Focused on the shenanigans of a group of crude, corrupt, inept cops, it's a wack riff on Reno 911. When weed-dealing policeman Duke (Mark Burnham), who sells his product camouflaged in the bodies of dead rats, almost kills a man, he recruits desk cop Sunshine (Steve Little) to dispose of the not-quite-dead body.

In debt to Duke for weed he's bought on credit, Sunshine can't say no — until he discovers a bag of money buried in his backyard, which allows him to pay off his debt. Unfortunately for Sunshine, his gay porn past catches up to him and makes him a blackmail target just as he slithers out of Duke's grasp.


Wrong Cops
Directed by Quentin Dupieux
Now playing, IFC Center

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That's the narrative spine of this limp endeavor, which tries (and horribly fails) to spin comedy from sexual harassment, the sight gag of a bearded transgender prostitute, and sub-par mimicry of Police Academy-style hijinks.

What made Reno 911 work was that it had empathy for its freaks and outcasts, no matter how loutish and clueless they were; it sprang from the place where they live. Dupieux (aka French electronic musician Mr. Oizo) approaches his lackluster material from an oily, snickering faux-outsider perspective, and rather than being funny, subversive or offensive, it's just boring.

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