To coincide with the release of The Nice Guys, Kieran Fisher recommends 10 other buddy cop movies worth checking out…
This weekend marks the release of Shane Black’s new film The Nice Guys, starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe as a law enforcement duo investigating a missing persons case. It also sees Black return to his roots, having rose to prominence in 1987 with his buddy cop action comedy Lethal Weapon. That film would serve as a progenitor for other films centred around the friendships of law men, which included The Last Boy Scout and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. When it comes to films of this ilk, Black is the undisputed king, but he’s not the only one responsible for giving us some gems throughout the years. This list recommends some of that are well worth your time.
10. Samurai Cop (1991)
Directed By Amir Shevran
Starring Mathew Karedas, Mark Frazer, Robert Z’Dar, Gerald Okamura & Melissa Moore
Joe Marshall (Mathew Karedas) and Frank Washington (Mark Frazer) are two detectives who go up against the Los Angeles yakuza, with hilarious results.
Often cited as the greatest bad movie ever made, Samurai Cop is the holy grail of trash cinema, and the essential buddy cop movie when it comes to ineptitude. The film has garnered such a die-hard cult following over the years that a sequel was released earlier this year, which is also well worth seeing.
9. 21 Jump Street (2012)
Directed By Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Starring Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Brie Larson & Dave Franco
A pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring.
The most surprising thing about 21 Jump Street is just how funny it actually is. Based on the hit ‘80s TV show starring Johnny Depp, the reboot proved to be a huge critical and commercial success. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play the dim-witted duo to perfection, and their mishaps are the cause for much hilarity.
8. Turner & Hooch (1989)
Directed by Roger Spottiswood
Starring Tom Hanks, Craig T. Nelson, Mare Winningham & Reginald VelJohnson
A detective must adopt the dog of a dead man to help him find the murderer.
Turner & Hooch isn’t your typical buddy cop film, but what better buddy is there than man’s best friend? All dog owners will attest to that. This was released prior to Hanks blowing up and becoming a ‘serious’ actor, and it’s one of the unsung gems of his entire filmography.
7. Bad Boys (1995)
Directed by Michael Bay
Starring Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Marc Macaulay & Téa Leoni
Two hip detectives protect a murder witness while investigating a case of stolen heroin.
Michael Bay’s Bad Boys contains the successful blend of action and humour that typifies the directors best work, due in no part to the natural chemistry between its stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. While it doesn’t break any new ground for films of this ilk, it executes the tropes we know and love expertly to create some stylish, brainless fun.
6. 48 Hrs. (1982)
Directed By Walter Hill
Starring Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, James Remar & Annette O’Toole
A hard-nosed cop reluctantly teams up with a wise-cracking criminal temporarily paroled to him, in order to track down a killer.
Take Eddie Murphy back when he was actually funny, team him up with one of the greatest action directors of all time in Walter Hill, and the results are as magnificent as you’d expect. It also stars Nick Nolte, who’s the personification of everything that’s bad ass and cool. This movie breaks the formula a little, as it teams a cop up with a criminal so they can track down a killer, but unlikely pairings proving to be fruitful in the end are commonplace in these movies. The greatest friendships are the ones born from conflict.
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