When it comes to formulas for hilarity, very few concepts can beat that of the buddy cop film. You take one character with a strong character trait, another with the opposite trait, and force them to work together to complete a common good. It’s so simple, but has the potential to work so well. Really chemistry is key when it comes to these movies though, and that’s why buddy cop films need a strong pair of actors at its center to really succeed. So in honor of today’s release of The Heat, the newest buddy cop film to hit the market starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, I’m going to take a little time to cover my five favorite. Here are the best buddy cop pairings that are guaranteed to make you laugh.
First a few caveats—this isn’t a list of the best buddy cop movies per say, but the best cops in those movies. Furthermore, this list is unranked and in no particular order, since doing so for a list like this is extremely pointless. Finally, I only included people who are actually cops on this list—the genre is so popular its spun out into many other career fields, but I’m focusing strictly on police officers. So sorry, Toy Story and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Maybe next time. So with all of that said, let’s kick off the list, shall we?
Officer Slater & Officer Michaels—Superbad
Well the story of Seth and Evan is super sweet, it’s really Officer Slater and Officer Michaels that steal Superbad for me. Played brilliantly by the great Seth Rogen and Bill Hader, the pair’s quest to show McLovin the fun (and incredibly irresponsible) side of cops is a gutbusting trip from start to finish. And they play lightsabers with flashlights well driving their patrol car. Can you get much cooler than that?
Officer Gamble and Officer Hoitz—The Other Guys
Well the film itself is hit and miss, the actually buddy cop pairing in The Other Guys is pretty fantastic. Will Ferrell reigns it in for once (mostly) and does a very good “good” cop, but it’s really Mark Wahlberg who impresses the most here. Who would have thought the man would have such a strong sense of humor. His whiny, rage induced spirit was perfect for the role of Officer Hoitz, and lead to me actually appreciating the actor. His peacock rant still gets me everytime. He needs to fly, dammit!
Officer Riggs and Officer Murtaugh—Lethal Weapon
Of course I couldn’t leave Riggs and Murtaugh off this list, could I? They practically invented the modern day buddy cop formula as they know it. Their polar opposites from one another, yet they always end up complementing each other’s styles in the best of ways. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover’s chemistry with one another is so strong and Shane Black’s script is so sharp that it’s no question why Riggs and Murtaugh are two of the most famous cops in all of film. And it shows us a long lost universe in which Mel Gibson was ACTING insane, and not just being it.
Officer Jenko and Officer Schmidt—21 Jump Street
21 Jump Street is one of the funniest movies in recent years, and most of that goes to the pitch perfect pairing of Officer Jenko and Officer Schmidt. On the surface, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill seem to have little in common, but they both do excellent work here as the bully/nerd pair. Similar to Wahlberg in The Other Guys, the real joy of this pairing is seeing an actor not usually known for comedy come out of his shell and be hilarious. 21 Jump Street kind of made me a lover of Channing Tatum, which in and of itself is a pretty huge accomplishment.
Constable Angel and Constable Butterman—Hot Fuzz
Oh come now, did you really think I would ignore Hot Fuzz on this list? Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are two of the best comic duos working today, and their buddy cop film represents the best of their abilities thus far (even though I have a ton of hope for The World’s End). Hot Fuzz is freaking awesome, probably my favorite of the Cornetto trilogy so far, and an incredibly well produced little buddy bop film. And it’s really Pegg and Frost doing their best work here as they slyly wink at the ridiculous cop movie genre, yet fully embrace it in an effort to have as much fun as possible. And fun is certain to be had throughout the entirety of Hot Fuzz.
And there’s are list! I only mentioned my five favorite, and there’s a host of other buddy cop films out there (just check out this list!) Which ones your favorite? Be sure to share with us in the comments!