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17th Sep 2013

JOE’s best big-screen buddy cop duos…

"You're off the case McGarnigle." "You're off YOUR case Chief!"

Eoghan Doherty

To mark the release of R.I.P.D. this week, JOE picks five of our favourite ever buddy cop duos.

R.I.P.D. is a supernatural comedy film directed by Robert Schwentke (Flightplan, RED) and is based on the Dark Horse Entertainment comic book, Rest In Peace Department by Peter M. Lenkov.

The best thing about it though? It’s another addition to the already excellent buddy cop genre and stars JOE favourites Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges as two undead police officers.


And what a great genre the buddy cop film is. Conservative, by-the-book cop? Check. Maverick, plays-by-their-own-rules cop? Check.

Required to team up… reluctantly? Check.

“But wait!” we hear you cry,  “they’re incompatible! This unlikely duo will never be able to get along with each other, and there’s simply no way they’ll realise that they’ve way more in common than they think they do, and they’ll definitely not have a change of heart which will lead them to successfully get to the bottom of the case after putting their differences aside to work together. There’s no way that will happen. No. Way.”

So there you have it – the classic buddy cop formula.

Here are five of our favourites:

Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

Admit it. You’re singing the film’s theme tune already. Let us help you with that:

Before he was busy dressing up in oversized fat suits as every single character in every single film, Eddie Murphy actually starred in some brilliant movies, especially at the beginning of his Hollywood career in the 1980s.

Beverly Hills Cop is one of those brilliant movies and was the flick that shot the comedian  to superstardom as he played Detective Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit cop who heads to Beverly Hills, California, to solve the murder of his best friend.

Teaming up with Judge Rheinhold’s Detective Billy Rosewood, the perfect pairing set the bar for brilliant, bickering buddies in blue to come.

Lethal Weapon (1987)

Following on from the success of Beverly Hills Cop, the head honchos at Hollywood knew they were on to a winning formula with mismatched buddies and greenlit the inspired pairing of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon.

With Glover’s Roger ‘I’m gettin’ too old for this shit’ Murtaugh teaming up with Gibson’s Martin ‘I’m batshit crazy’ Riggs, the first film in the series was a success with both critics and audiences alike.

Brilliant set-pieces, crackin’ Shane Black one-liners and having Gary ‘Bonkers’ Busey as the film’s bad guy has ensured that Lethal Weapon is still the one to beat when it comes to buddy cop action films.

Here’s a taste of the perfect performances from the two policemen:

The Other Guys (2010)

One of the more recent additions to the genre saw Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg team up in hilarious fashion, as the brains behind Anchorman produced one of the best films of 2010 and yet another cracker to add to this excellent genre.

Detective Allen Gamble (Ferrell) and Detective Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg) are stuck with each other (obviously) after super cops Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Danson (Dwayne Johnson) meet an unfortunate end in one of the best, and funniest, death scenes ever commited to celluloid:

It’s in the banter between Gamble and Hoitz though where the film really succeeds, so check out one of The Other Guy’s early scenes where the two cops realise that they don’t quite see eye to eye:

Hot Fuzz (2007)

The second film in Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy saw Simon Pegg return as all-action cop, Nicholas Angel. After being transferred to the sleepy English village of “crime-free” Sandford, Angel soon starts to suspect that not everything is as it seems and it’s up to him and new partner Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) to get to the bottom of things.

Transferring the super Spaced pairing of Pegg and Frost to the big screen as the most mismatched of cops proved to be a brilliant move as Pegg’s hero showed Frost how proper policework is done:

Bad Boys (1995)

What a way to make your directorial debut. In 1995 Michael ‘my life needs more explosions’ Bay announced himself to critics and audiences alike with a fun and funny action-packed buddy cop film, complete with super slick visuals and absolutely bucket-loads loads of those explosions we mentioned.

It helped that the inspired teaming of Will Smith and Martin Lawerence also worked a treat. Now there’s a sentence we never thought we’d write.

Check out the titular Bad Boys in action:

R.I.P.D. is scheduled for release on September 20 2013.

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