Iceland’s answer to Hot Fuzz: ‘Cop Secret’ is a blast!

Premiered at Locarno Festival

Cop Secret premiered at Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland this month, one of the longest running film festivals having started back in 1946. The festival opened back up to the public this year and featured a host of films from all over the world, but our attention was drawn to this Icelandic action comedy, and we were so glad we discovered it!

The Director

In 2018 I was waiting to catch a plane from Reykjavik city airport over to Narsarsuaq in South Greenland. I remember this day in particular because it was during the World Cup – and Iceland were about to take on the football giants Argentina.

Throughout the city you could feel the energy building before the game. It was fascinating to experience (and that is coming from someone who isn’t big on football). As I boarded the aircraft a cheer erupted through the plane and across the tiny airport – Iceland had scored!

Two hours later and we are about to land into the glistening green of Narsarsuaq and the pilot’s announcement confirmed that Iceland had managed to draw against Argentina. The passengers went wild! During the course of the game there was a moment when Messi – one of the best football players in the world – was up to take a penalty, only to have it blocked by the Icelandic goalkeeper.

And why am I telling you this? Because that goalkeeper also happens to be the director of this movie! Showcasing his debut in directing, take a bow for the multi-tasking multi-talented genius that is Hannes Þór Halldórsson.

Director Hannes Þór Halldórsson, from saving goals to scoring his debut film on screen.

The Film

In the opening minutes you might not get the humour, but it will come soon enough. The Icelandic have a brilliant sense of humour, it can be dark, and sometimes it can be so subtle you feel that shouldn’t laugh. But we were soon laughing out loud at this one.

Affectionately and intelligently poking fun at cop film clichés, this movie is akin to a Nordic Hot Fuzz meets Bad Boys, set in the not-so ghetto backstreets of Reykjavik. This really is an ‘out there’ comedy, but with some truly great action pieces, an LGBT+ storyline, a light touch of football references, and plenty of original and silly fun – we really enjoyed the ride.

A notable performance came from Bjorn Hlynur Haraldsson, who plays villain Rikki Ferrari, and who stole the movie for us. Speaking in English rather than his native Icelandic, and with a spoof-baddie voice, this daft detail just added even more to the hilarity for us.

In addition to the well-known faces like Bjorn and some other cameos, there are some new faces too – notably Vivian Olafsdottir (pictured below) who plays one of the baddies, Stefania, in her first movie role. Vivian is in fact sister to Anni Olafsdottir, who we spoke to earlier in the year about her involvement directing the excellent A Hero’s Journey to the Third Pole which you can read about HERE.

With so much doom and gloom around us at times, this really did cheer up our day and we can’t wait for everyone to catch it when it gets a release in the UK.

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