Four blundering policemen must choose between food and their jobs in Phuwanit Pholdee and Chanon Yingyong’s buddy comedy.
“I prefer eating to being a cop.”
Sometimes you know exactly what kind of film you’re in for from its opening line. The filmmakers lay out their entire thesis right from the get-go, and never stray from it, letting the audience know that if they’ve stuck around after this first scene, then it’s their own fault if they didn’t like it. Never have I seen this be more true than in the 2017 Thai action comedy Oversized Cops.The opening in question shows our main characters Can (Sarun Cinsuvapala), Yoy (Pramote Pathan), Pluem (Somyos Matures), and O (Suphachai Subprasert): four police officers briefing each other on what appears to be an upcoming mission, but what is actually revealed to be barbecue. It’s a joke that fully encompasses what the rest of Oversized Cops is going to be, and in a way I can respect that. Even if it is entirely unfunny.
After a video of the squad’s bumbling mishandling of a case goes viral (though who’s shooting it on a deserted road is anyone’s guess) and damages the police’s image, the chief is forced to implement a fitness policy. Under the guidance of their captain Jhet (Supavitch Nepremwattana), the squad must try to lose weight before the three months are up, while also working a bank robbery case.
Oversized Cops is a film with surprisingly little to offer. A good chunk of the movie is just watching these four guys fail at exercise and deliver mildly funny shtick. It would work a bit more if we were given any insight into who these guys are but there’s not a lot that separates them from one another. Can, our apparent “main” character gets a romance subplot, Yoy might have a short temper, O is married and Pluem is just sort of weird. It’s telling when a film can reassign its dialogue to different characters without affecting anything – even more so in coedy, when everyone’s distinct voices are key in setting up jokes.
It’s a film that understands comedy, at least on paper, and knows how to shoot funny scenes, but where none of the punchlines actually land. Eagle-eyed viewers might notice a few moments lifted straight out of Hot Fuzz, from Edgar Wright’s trademark use of close-up smash cuts, to the chase sequence through the houses to the ending shot of the police car smash cutting to the title. Directors Phuwanit Pholdee and Chanon Yingyong clearly have a love for the buddy cop comedy genre, but their passion never really translates to on-screen competence. Most of the jokes are flat, predictable or just plain baffling.
Oversized Cops isn’t a fantastic film by any stretch of the imagination, and I’d be hard-pressed to even call it particularly good, but it’s also hard to really hate. There’s a good-naturedness to it and (mostly-there) respect for its overweight characters that isn’t often seen in films like this. Though it is hard to really pinpoint what this film is trying to say about obesity: one character talks about how it doesn’t matter what his weight is, as long as he can catch criminals in the same breath that he mourns a friend who died of diabetes. The central argument doesn’t even have much to do with the case they’re trying to solve, and both just feel like completely separate stories, neither of which hold up on their own.
Verdict: Lacking in laughs Oversized Cops might not be the most entertaining or fast paced cop comedies, but its heart is in the right place.
Overall entertainment: 5.5/100
Romance: Barely worth mentioning
Plot twists: None, despite how much it wants you to think there is
Pleum: doesn’t cry. He just sweats
But when do they hand in their guns? 55 minute mark, after a rather foolish encounter in a club.
But when do they split up and sulk? A surprisingly early 1 hour in
Oversized Cops (2017)
Also known as: โอเวอร์ไซส์..ทลายพุง
Directors: Phuwanit Pholdee, Chanon Yingyong
Writers: Phuwanit Pholdee, Phuvarith Phuapairoch
Sarun Cinsuvapala – Can
Pramote Pathan – Yoy
Somyos Matures – Pluem
Suphachai Subprasert – O
Supavitch Nepremwattana – Captain Jhet
Nutjaree Horvejkul – Meen
Dan Chupong – Khem
JeeJa Yanin – Muay Thai Trainer