Review: 'Oversize Cops' has undersized comedy

Marcus Goh
Contributor

 

Oversize Cops (Encore Films)

Secret ending? No, but the credits are fairly interesting to watch.

Running time: 100 min (~ 1.75 hours)

Oversize Cops (Encore Films)

“Oversize Cops” is a Thai comedy revolving around a group of overweight policemen who are forced to lose weight for work requirements. Nobody has faith that they will succeed except for one kind, slim police officer. However, they may be the only ones who can solve a dire criminal case of epic proportions.

The film is directed by Phuwanit Pholdee and Chanon Yingyong. It stars Sarun “Tong-Tong” Shinsuwapala (Sgt Kan), Pramote “Oat” Patan (Sgt Yoi), Supachai “Fluke” Sapprasert (Sgt Ao), Somyos “Eddy” Matures (Sgt Pleum), Suppavitch “Tee” Meepremwattana (Cpt Jade), and Natjaree “Chereen” Horvejkul (Meen). It is rated PG.

Oversize Cops (Encore Films)

“Oversize Cops” is a decent attempt that tries to accomplish too many things within its runtime. It has a little bit of each element, but not enough for it to make a significant, memorable impact. As a result, you have a film with clear intentions, but a poorly executed result.

Highlights

Slapstick works

Oddly enough, the slapstick in “Oversize Cops” works. It’s spread out evenly enough throughout the show that it doesn’t feel overdone, so when this brand of humour turns up, it works. If you’re a fan of physical humour, then you’ll enjoy these segments of “Oversize Cops”, since these jokes utilise the size and clumsiness of the main characters in a surprisingly effective way.

Oversize Cops (Encore Films)

Letdowns

Incompetence, not obesity, is main issue plaguing protagonists

The biggest problem is that these cops aren’t just overweight, they’re ineffectual. As can be expected, their incompetency is partly due to their size, but even discounting their oversized frames, these are some pretty useless cops. It’s further emphasised in the film because of the changes the characters have to undergo. If the writers equated obesity with idiocy, that might have been understandable — but that’s not the case. The issues waver between idiocy and obesity, and it’s not always clear which one they are focusing on, which makes the entire premise of the film a very shaky one.

Oversize Cops (Encore Films)

Mixed messages

To put it bluntly, there are not enough fat jokes in a film about fat policemen. And this is partly because there’s a painfully blatant health message shoehorned into the film. Unfortunately, there’s another theme in the film about identity and self-love. These two messages clash terribly amidst the efforts to make fat jokes that don’t go far enough (perhaps to avoid being insulting?). You have absolutely no idea what the point of “Oversize Cops” is after watching it.

Awkward visuals

When a cast member is unable to move gracefully or aesthetically, it’s exacerbated by their size. That’s not to say plus-size characters can’t be nimble — just look at Nikki Blonsky for a good example of a large dancer. Unfortunately, these characters can’t pull off similar movements well, and what you see just makes you want to tear your eyes out.

Not enough police action

Half of the movie’s title implies that there’ll be a fair amount of procedural and law enforcement action. Instead, you have bland talky scenes that take place in a police station, with some perfunctory reminders that they are police officers here and there. Admittedly, the film follows a few police movie tropes, but not enough to qualify it as a police movie.

The bottom line is that “Oversize Cops” has undersized comedy. It deliberately avoids plenty of opportunities to capitalise on fat jokes for some unknown reason, perhaps to be politically correct (as the title implies). Unfortunately, this hampers the comedy of the movie greatly. It needed to double or triple the number of fat jokes it had to actually be funny.

Should you watch this if it’s free? Okay…

Should you watch this at weekday movie ticket prices? No.

Score: 1.5/5

“Oversize Cops” opens in cinemas:
– 2 November, 2017 (Singapore)

Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter, having written for “Lion Mums”, “Crimewatch”, “Incredible Tales”, and “Police & Thief”. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. You can find him on social media as Optimarcus and on his site. The views expressed are his own.

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