Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are the stars of the latest buddy cop movie, The Other Guys, and it looks hilarious. This is the next in a long line of buddy cop movies, and The Other Guys will have a hard time living up to some of them. Of course with Mark Wahlberg playing the straight man against Will Ferrell, I don’t think we have to worry about this movie providing laughs. The only question is if it will provide as many laughs as some of the great buddy cop movies that came before, and how the comedy will be balanced with action. No buddy cop movie is complete without a bad guy meeting justice at the end of a bullet. Or fist. Or bullet fist.
Lethal Weapon is the standard that all buddy cop movies are judged by. When this movie came out, Mel Gibson was still a lovable sort of crazy who played perfectly against Danny Glover. As Sergeant Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh, Gibson and Glover made the perfect team. Just picture an old bickering married couple that can kick an extreme amount of ass. While they got on each other’s nerves, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover came together to defeat the bad guys and become best friends. They don’t call them buddy cop movies for nothing after all.
Before I start talking about Rush Hour, has anybody seen Chris Tucker recently? He has been getting a little chunky, he needs to start hanging out with Jackie Chan again. Speaking of hanging out with Jackie Chan, the main appeal of Rush Hour was the interaction of Chris Tucker’s Detective James Carter and Jackie Chan’s Inspector Lee. The culture clash between the two provided many laughs, and Jackie Chan used the fact that he was Jackie Chan to kung fu bad guys into oblivion. Chris Tucker helped with that a little bit too.
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence bickered almost as much as Mel Gibson and Danny Glover throughout Bad Boys. Will Smith is the Mel Gibson type character, willing to break rules and take chances to get the job done. Martin Lawrence is the Danny Glover type, often complaining about being too old for this poop despite his relatively young age. Will Smith was definitely cooler. when things got down and dirty though, both Smith and Lawrence were ready to unleash a fiery hail of lead based justice. If only the chief would get off their backs and let them solve crimes their way, at a very high cost to the city!
When it comes to pure comedy, Hot Fuzz is one of the best buddy cop movies around. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost of Shaun of the Dead fame starred as cops in a small town with an unusually high rate of accidents. Nick Frost plays the big innocent dumb guy very well, and Simon Pegg plays the top cop type, although one who doesn’t approve of the tactics often shown in buddy cop movies. Many of the other movies on this list are actually referenced throughout Hot Fuzz. In the end, Simon Pegg realizes there is no better way to rid a small town of corruption than removing the corrupt people with violence. Lots and lots of gratuitous violence. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Cop Out was Kevin Smith’s recent attempt at a buddy cop movie. While the story wasn’t great, the main characters Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan did a great job saving the movie. The action scenes weren’t very good, but they made up for it with a lot of comedy, which is what Kevin Smith does best. Hopefully The Other Guys takes some pages from the comedy side of Cop Out, but also greatly improves upon the action. A buddy cop movie cannot be considered complete until the amount of violent justice can be described as excessive.