Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I feel that Se7en is the best example of King’s conception of the buddy cop film that we’ve studied so far in this class. It seems to be forthright and even obvious in the way it conforms to the genre’s expectations, starting with a tense relationship between two new partners, the introduction of a bad guy, the presence of a ransom figure, the references to homosexuality and the professionalism of the cops. However, there are some places where making distinctions, such as who is the hero and who is the sidekick, becomes difficult. While this movie fits easily into the buddy cop genre, classifying its characters is a more difficult task.

First of all, the film starts in the way that most buddy cop films begin. There’s a professional cop, Somerset, and an unprofessional cop, Mills. Just as we discussed in class the two characters do not seem to get along in the beginning, despite Mills attempts to befriend Somerset. Somerset sees Mills as inexperienced and unable to work at the level of Somerset’s expectations. This doesn’t sit well with Mills. This suggests that Mills is the hero of the film because normally in buddy cop films, the officer that is stifled or sent away in the beginning rises up to be the hero in the end.

As the film progresses we start to see that Mills is the cop who, like King describes, uses unconventional methods to go about catching the bad guy. One example of this is when Mills enters John Doe’s apartment without a warrant. However, I wouldn’t say that Somerset always follows the police handbook either. Thinking back to the way they got John Doe’s address in the first place, I realize that Somerset might not be on the up and up all the time either. This brings up the first question of who is the sidekick and who is the hero. Usually the hero is the unprofessional cop in the duo, but is Mills really the hero or is Somerset?

Again this question arises when we look at the family story. Normally, the cop with an intact family is the sidekick. But this may not line up in the film because Mills is the one with the family even though most people would probably classify him as the hero and not the sidekick.

This is one of my favorite films from this genre, mostly because I think that Kevin Spacey is just an amazing actor not to mention that I also like David Fincher’s directing. But I am confused as to how to classify the roles of the characters within the film.


Blogger Vladigogo said...

Is this a possible example of a film that doesn't have the hero/sidekick element?

9:10 AM  

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