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Film / Inspector Blunder

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Inspector Blunder (Inspecteur la Bavure) is a 1980 French comedy film directed by Claude Zidi, starring Coluche and Gérard Depardieu.

Michel Clément (Coluche), the son of a police hero, follows his father's footsteps and becomes a police inspector. In spite of his inaptitude, he is tasked with protecting a young journalist (Dominique Lavanant), who is the target of a dangerous criminal, Roger Morzini (Depardieu).


Inspector Blunder provides examples of:

  • Badass Longcoat: Parodied. Michel's father wore one when he was shot. Michel's mother wants him to wear his father's longcoat (with the bullet holes) when he is appointed as a police inspector. Later, he wears a longcoat again to impress Marie-Anne Prossant when he arranges a meeting between her and Morzini.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Michel Clément comes to free Marie-Anne Prossant just when Morzini is going to cut one of her fingers.
  • Break the Haughty: The very self-confident Morzini gets humiliated by Michel Clément in the end.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Marie-Anne Prossant taunts a dangerous criminal, Roger Morzini. On TV, she describes him as an unattractive person, a closet gay, and an impotent man.
  • Butt-Monkey: On his first day as a police inspector, Michel Clément gets beaten by his new colleagues who think he is an accomplice of Morzini. Later, he has to play the role of a girl in the reconstruction of a rape and he ends up in the mud. After the kidnapping of Marie-Anne Prossant, he gets beaten by his colleagues once again.
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  • Call-Back: After Marie-Anne Prossant's kidnapping, Michel Clément is brutally questioned by Inspectors Zingo and Gaffuri, just as on his first day of work.
  • Car Skiing: Performed by Michel Clément with a police van when he chases Morzini. It fails.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The yobs who Michel is friends with are useful when he needs to kidnap Morzini's mother.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Michel Clément is mediocre, cowardly...
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • Michel Clément's destiny is linked with Roger Morzini's: he starts his career the day the gangster's accomplices are arrested. He is nearby when Morzini attacks a jewelry workshop. Then he must protect the young journalist that Morzini targets.
    • Michel Clément investigates the theft of old pistols. Then he realizes his friends stole them as a gift for him.
  • Counting Bullets: Played for Laughs in the opening scene. Jules Clément is hit by all the bullets his colleagues are counting.
  • Cowboy Cop: Surprisingly, Michel becomes one in the last part of the film: he uses illegal means (like kidnapping the kidnapper's mother) to free Marie-Anne Prossant.
  • Damsel in Distress: Marie-Anne Prossant is kidnapped by Morzini and Michel Clément has to free her with the help of his friends.
  • Disappeared Dad: Michel's father was killed when he was a kid.
  • Disguised in Drag: Michel has to dress as a prostitute to get out of the cemetery incognito.
  • Ditch the Bodyguards: Marie-Anne Prossant does not want to be protected by the police. She loses Michel Clément and his colleague at the first opportunity.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Morzini cares about his mother.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Morzini thinks that Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil and he does not rape Marie-Anne Prossant, even if she called him a gay and an impotent man.
  • Faked Kidnapping: In the end, Michel Clément and Marie-Anne Prossant make Louis Prossant think her daughter is still held hostage, so that they can get the ransom.
  • Fedora of Asskicking: Parodied. Michel Clément wears a fedora to impress Marie-Anne Prossant when he arranges a meeting between her and Morzini.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: On his deathbed, Jules Clément orders his son Michel to become a cop.
  • Handicapped Badass: The handicapped people who work in the jewelry workshop neutralize easily Morzini's gang. Only the leader can escape.
  • Hot Pursuit: After the failure of the jewelry workshop hold-up, many police cars chase Morzini.
  • Humiliation Conga: For Morzini. His mother is kidnapped. Michel Clément destroys the castle where he was hiding and frees Marie-Anne Prossant. Morzini is unable to do anything against it.
  • I Have Your Wife: Morzini kidnaps Marie-Anne Prossant then asks her father to pay a ransom. Then it is inverted: the hero, Michel Clément, kidnaps Morzini's mother to force him to release Marie-Anne Prossant.
  • Improvised Weapon: Michel Clément uses a mechanical digger to fight Morzini in the climax.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Marie-Anne Prossant (Dominique Lavanant) taunts Roger Morzini, a dangerous criminal.
  • Last Minute Hookup: Michel Clément charms Marie-Anne Prossant in the very end of the film.
  • Lawman Gone Bad: In the end, Michel Clément makes Marie-Anne Prossant's father believe she is still held hostage to get the ransom and get away with her.
  • Lemming Cops: After Michel Clément's van falls over during the Hot Pursuit, several police cars crash in it.
  • Libation for the Dead: When Michel gets appointed as inspector, he goes with her mother to his father's grave to announce the news. Her mother opens a bottle of champagne on the grave.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: In the opening sequence, Michel Clément as a child watches his father Jules die as a police hero.
  • Momma's Boy: Michel Clément always obeys his mother. He follows his father's footsteps in the police because of her.
  • Monochrome Past: The opening scene, which is set when Michel Clément was a child, is in black and white.
  • My Beloved Smother: Michel Clément's mother controls his life: his career, the clothes he wears...
  • Newscaster Cameo: A real-life journalist, Gérard Holtz, interviews Marie-Anne Prossant.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Roger Morzini (Gérard Depardieu) is based on real-life criminal Jacques Mesrine; Louis Prossant is based on real-life newspaper magnate Robert Hersant.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Michel Clément helps Roger Morzini multiple times: he tells him the police needs one minute to locate a phone call; he brings him to the police office where he learns that the photographer Merlino has betrayed him; he helps Morzini to kidnap Marie-Anne Prossant...
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Michel kidnaps Morzini's mother, after he kidnapped Marie-Anne Prossant.
  • Phone Call from the Dead: Subverted. Michel's mother thinks she received a phone call of her deceased husband, but actually it was a phone call from her son.
  • Phone-Trace Race: Michel tells Morzini the exact amount of time that the police needs to trace the call, so Morzini can make phone calls safely.
  • Rabid Cop: Inspectors Zingo and Gaffuri are violent with the suspects they question.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Morzini does not want to rape Marie-Anne Prossant, even if she called him a gay and an impotent man.
  • Rescue Romance: Marie-Anne Prossant falls in love with Michel Clément after he frees her from Morzini.
  • Rescue Sex: Just after freeing Marie-Anne Prossant, Michel Clément brings her to a hotel and they have sex.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Michel's mother approximatively quotes La Rochefoucauld ("l'hommage du vice à la vertu") when she criticizes Michel's friends.
    • When he invites Roger Morzini in his flat, Michel Clément quotes a poem by Victor Hugo from La Légende des siècles to describe his father.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Parodied. Michel Clément tries to smoke to impress Marie-Anne Prossant when he arranges a meeting between her and Morzini. He has a cough.
  • Smooch of Victory: Marie-Anne Prossant gives one to Michel Clément after he frees her from Morzini.
  • Talking to the Dead: Michel and her mother go to his father's grave to talk with him. Just before the climax, her mother goes back to the grave and start talking. Someone answers, but it is not her deceased husband, but her son, hidden in the grave.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Michel Clément becomes really determined and efficient when he realizes Morzini fooled him. He sets up a plan to free Marie-Anne Prossant. It works. He even gets the girl and the ransom.
  • Tracking Device: The policemen put one in Michel's suit and they let him escape, because they think he will lead them to Morzini.
  • Trick-and-Follow Ploy: The policemen let Michel Clément escape and they follow him with a Tracking Device, because they think he will lead them to Morzini. Subverted, because Michel realizes he has a tracking device in his suit, he gets rid of it and the policemen cannot follow his trail.
  • Tricked Into Escaping: The policemen let Michel Clément escape because they think he will lead them to Morzini.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Marie-Anne Prossant does not want to be protected by the police.
  • We Have Ways of Making You Talk: When Michel Clément does not want to make a speech in front of his friends after his appointment, one of them says "Nous avons les moyens de vous faire parler" with a German accent.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Roger Morzini kills the plastic surgeon who gave him a new face just after the operation.


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