A cop. A Conman. A crazy formula. It’s Freaky Friday, Vice Versa or any other body swap movie all over again. And it is distinctly South African. As they say – if it ain’t broke… Copposites certainly isn’t. Sure, it has its flaws, but this might just be the funniest local film you’ll see in a long time. And, yes, that’s counting Leon’s stuff…
Alfred “Sharky” Majola is a conman trying to go straight. He has piles of bills, a pregnant girlfriend, judgemental in-laws and a sizable debt to settle with a nasty loan shark. On the other side is Detective Jan Venter, a washed-out drunkard cop who ruined his marriage and is about to sink his career as well.
After a brief altercation with his ex-wife’s new lover’s car, Venter is suspended and has to take a post as a security guard at a lab. Majola, meanwhile, accepts one last job in order to repay his debt: break into the lab and steal a revolutionary new formula. Things don’t go as planned and when the two men wake up, they have swapped bodies.
Good chemistry is important in a buddy movie – fortunately Sivuyile “Siv” Ngesi and Rob Van Vuuren have no problem there. They are good friends in the real world and clearly enjoyed this chance to work together professionally, relishing in each other’s gags and outbursts. Both actors are challenged as Van Vuuren adopts a Zulu accent and Ngesi employs a convincing Afrikaner drawl. Not everyone might be happy with the strength of the accents, but you have to rather picky to really complain.
There are plenty of stabs across the race line, though nothing offensive, and apart from one slight poop-joke, Copposites keeps things above the belt. That said, it is wholly a slapstick experience, just not one that opts for outright juvenile, lowest-common-denominator stuff.
The two leads are joined by a stellar local cast. The stand-outs were easily Nik Rabinowitz and Lukhanyo Bele, who absolutely stole their scenes, joined by the likes of Alfred Ntombela and, briefly, Loyisa Gola. It’s a stellar cast and the strongest showing yet of local comedians in a movie.
Copposites does fall a little short in its third act, which is rather weak when compared to the previous scenes. The jokes are strong, but the story doesn’t build up to quite the climax that would have served it best. Faults could also be found with a few of the physical comedy scenes – neither of the leads are particularly known for physical comedy and at times it shows. But their combined performances gloss over the cracks. And when Van Vuuren unleashes his brilliant facial contortions, you’ll struggle to not crack up.
Last Updated: October 19, 2012