[Movie Review] ‘Oversize Cops’ has undersized comedy

Oversize Cops (Encore Films)
Oversize Cops (Encore Films)

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

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

Score: 1.5/5

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

Running time: 100 min (~ 1.75 hours)

Oversize Cops (Encore Films)
Oversize Cops (Encore Films)

“Oversize Cops” is a Thai comedy.

The film revolves 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.

“Oversize Cops” 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), Natjaree “Chereen” Horvejkul (Meen). It is rated PG.

Oversize Cops (Encore Films)
Oversize Cops (Encore Films)

“Oversize Cops” is a decent attempt that tries to accomplish too many things within its run time. 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.

Oversize Cops (Encore Films)
Oversize Cops (Encore Films)

Highlights

Slapstick works

Oddly enough, the slapstick in “Oversize Cops” works. It’s spread out evenly enough among 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)
Oversize Cops (Encore Films)

Letdowns

Why isn’t the title just “Fat Cops”?

The title is so euphemistic that you might mistake the film for something rife with political correctness. However, that isn’t the case – and a title like “Fat Cops” or “Obese Cops” would have worked much, much better at conveying the spirit and story of the movie. It’s a baffling choice of title, especially since “Oversize Cops” doesn’t quite put you into the sort of humourous mood that you need to be in to enjoy the movie.

Oversize Cops (Encore Films)
Oversize Cops (Encore Films)

Incompetence, not obesity, is the main issue plaguing the 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)
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” after watching it.

Oversize Cops (Encore Films)
Oversize Cops (Encore Films)

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.

Oversize Cops (Encore Films)
Oversize Cops (Encore Films)

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.

Oversize Cops (Encore Films)
Oversize Cops (Encore Films)

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.

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

This article first appeared on and was written for Yahoo Singapore.


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I’m a Singapore television scriptwriter who’s written for Lion Mums, Crimewatch, Police & Thief, and Incredible Tales. I’m also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. You can find me on social media as Optimarcus and on my site.

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