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Friday, 19 May 2017

My 10 Favourite Buddy Cop Action Movies

Movies featuring two unlikely mismatched detectives (comprised of a straight cop and someone who is a bit unorthodox in their methods and has a different attitude or approach) have been popular over the past 4 decades - or be it 3 decades, as the sub-genre isn't as dominant as it used to be before. They became omnipresent throughout the 1980s and 1990s, which all started off with 48 Hrs back in 1982, only for Lethal Weapon to really kickstart the buddy cop boom, in a massive way in the mid -1980s onwards.

In honour of one of my favourite movie sub-genres, as well as action movie sub-genres, I've selected 10 of my personal choices that struck a chord with me for various and numerous reasons.  

Lethal Weapon (1987)

Starring post -Mad Max's Mel Gibson as the crazed Martin Riggs, who is still coming to terms with the death of his wife and Danny Glover as family man and fellow veteran LAPD cop Roger Murtaugh, Steven Hyden of Uproxx said: Lethal Weapon helped to establish the rules of the buddy cop subgenre. 

Tango & Cash (1989)

Two cops who despise each other's guts are forced to work together, Tango & Cash took the buddy cop formula and turned it on its head. Sly Stallone and Kurt Russell click on-screen as Ray Tango and Gabriel Cash and that's why this film has remained so popular in the 30 + years since its release in 1989 says Jack Grant (Screenrant).

48 Hrs (1982)

The originator and first of the buddy cop sub-genre, the title of the film refers to the amount of time a cop named Jack Cates and a convict in Reggie Hammond- who team up- have to solve a crime. Its success paved the way for Lethal Weapon, Rush Hour & many others to follow suit.

Dead Heat (1988)

A buddy cop movie with a difference with Treat Williams as the straight-laced Roger Mortis and comedian Joe Piscopo as his witty partner, Doug Bigelow this one mixes in Dawn of the Dead's zombies, but with the dead cop brought back to life as a zombie and over the years it has become a cult classic. 

Running Scared (1986)

This one operates more on the comedic side and less so on the action, in contrast to many other movies. Running Scared was comedian turned actor Billy Crystal's breakout hit and only second movie. It may not have set the standards that were achieved with Lethal Weapon, 48 Hrs, but one thing this film did do is to showcase how convincing both Crystal and Hines can be as cops. Not to be confused with Running Scared of 2006 starring Paul Walker. 

Bad Boys (1995)

Bad Boys is unlike so many buddy cop comedies before it, as for starters it was and arguably is the first buddy cop comedy to feature the teaming up of African American actors & stars Will Smith & Martin Lawrence as a Miami crime-busting duo, as opposed to the stereotypical bad guys and criminals. 

Police Story 3 Supercop (1992)

Starring Jackie Chan as a Hong Kong police inspector and Michelle Yeoh as an Interpol director and third instalment in the Police Story series sees Jackie fighting the criminals, with the help of a female accomplice/partner. And their fight scenes are great.

Hot Fuzz (2007)

A deconstructive parody of, as well as a homage to American buddy cop movies, this one is set in the UK and is from the makers of Shaun of the Dead: another comedy that spoofed horror films. British humour at its finest. Arguably, Hot Fuzz is better than its former film. 

Red Heat (1988)

Walter Hill's follow-up to 48 Hrs, Red Heat was released 6 years after with Arnold Schwarzenegger as a Russian cop, Ivan Danko kicking major ass, alongside Chicago hothead, Ridzik played by James Belushi. This is a rare example of a buddy cop comedy where the serious cop overshadows the more comical guy; Red Heat is more of a standalone Arnie vehicle compared to many other movies where it is spearheaded by two stars or actors. Whilst it is not so much engaging, it still provides a few entertaining moments along the way. 

The Other Guys (2010)

The second of two 2000/post 2000s entries on my list, the buddy cop genre in the 2000s and post 2010 have been few, far between and a lot of them are rather lacklustre in my opinion. Yet in The Other Guys, this one stands out for me by far, thanks to the unlikely pairing of former SNL star, Will Ferrell who is another one of those successful comedians-turned-movie stars and Mark Wahlberg. It does overplay on the cliches, but also it is a film that remains as consistently funny as it is. 

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