My Fave Five Buddy Cop Films

My Fave Five banner

Ah, February.  Home of Valentine’s Day, the day you spend with that someone special.  But that “special someone” isn’t necessarily always a significant other.  Your other half might possibly be your best friend. There are plenty of inseparable friends to be found in film.  Buddy cop films have some of the most memorable pairs in cinematic history.  Whether they were friends at the start of the movie or forced to work together, they are always the best of friends at the the end.  We realize they are two peas in a pod and they wouldn’t be the same without each other. In the spirit of love and friendship, here are my five favorite buddy cop films.

Bad Boys movie poster 5) Bad Boys / Bad Boys II

Marcus (Martin Lawrence) and Mike (Will Smith) are long-time friends by the time we meet them at the beginning of Bad Boys.  Their friendship is without question, which is easily sold by the chemistry of the two leads.  Throughout the first film, we see how close they really are.  Even though their relationship is on the rocks in Bad Boys II, they clearly still have each others’ backs, as evident by the scene when Marcus’ daughter’s boyfriend comes by for a visit.  If the characters aren’t cool enough for you, these films are tried and true popcorn action flicks, very reminiscent of the classic 80s buddy cop films.  These are the type of films you can just sit back and enjoy.

End of Watch movie poster4) End of Watch

End of Watch might be the most realistic buddy cop film on this list. End of Watch follows Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Pena), two beat cops in Los Angeles in a documentary style.  Despite the found-footage-esque camera style, the action is still very tight and crisp.  Normally I’m not a huge fan of it but it is well done and works for the story.  Also through this technique, the friendship can really be felt between Brian and Mike.  From patrolling in their squad car, to making a drug bust, to their home lives and everything in between.  Their friendship is displayed so well that the ending comes as a punch to the gut.

21 Jump Street movie poster3) 21 Jump Street / 22 Jump Street

Based on a TV series from the 80s, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are tasked with bringing down a drug dealer by infiltrating a high school… as students.  Schmidt and Jenko start on opposite sides of the popularity ladder but become extremely close friends, almost inseparable.  One of my favorite scenes from the series is when the pair is talking to the counselor in 22 Jump Street about their relationship, where they sound like a married couple. The whole premise of the series is to parody reboots and sequels, to which it does a fantastic job, including many tongue-in-cheek jokes clearly aimed at said reboots and sequels. In the current day and age of Hollywood, it’s nice to see films that can poke fun at themselves.

The Heat movie poster2) The Heat

When I first went to see The Heat, I didn’t expect to fall in love with it as much as I have.  Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) and Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) come from complete opposite sides of the spectrum.  Ashburn is a very by the book FBI agent and Mullins is more of a do-anything-to-get-the-job-done detective.  Although this dynamic has been done many times before this film came out, Bullock and McCarthy make it feel fun and refreshing.  The two comediennes show that they can kick ass with the best of any 80s action male duo.

Lethal Weapon movie poster1) Lethal Weapon series

The best buddy cop films start with the two leads at odds with each other.  Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is a sergeant in the LAPD about to retire when he is forced to work with Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson), a seemingly insane narcotics officer of the LAPD.  Riggs and Murtaugh are absolutely nothing alike, at least they seem that way at first.  Although they are at each others throats in the beginning, they become very close friends.  Together they stop drug smugglers, weapon smugglers, and illegal immigrant smugglers.  They dealt with a lot of smugglers.  Lethal Weapon shows what a buddy cop film can be at the genre’s best.

Honorable mentions include Rush Hour, The Other Guys, Starsky & Hutch, Hot Fuzz, and Tango & Cash.

What are some of your favorite buddy cop films?

My Fave Five Films Set In High School

It’s mid-September, which means school is in full swing, whether it’s high school, college, or university.  High school is as awkward as it is fun.  A time when we develop crushes, learn to drive, develop new friendships, while going through puberty, dealing with embarrassing parents, and simply trying to fit in.  Films have tried to channel all these different aspects of being a teenager in school to varying success.  So for everyone in high school, here are my five favorite films set in high school.

21 Jump Street movie poster5) 21 Jump Street

I may be cheating a little bit here because the main characters aren’t in high school but that’s why I phrased the article’s title the way I did.  I don’t think anyone expected 21 Jump Street to be as awesome as it is.  A film that parodies the vast amount of reboots we have been dealing with over the last several years has to hit all the right notes exactly perfect, and this does with flying colors.  If it wasn’t for the chemistry between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, the movie may not have worked out as well as it did.  They play well of each other and Tatum proved that he can do more than the rom-coms he had been mainly known for prior.

4) Ferris Bueller’s Day OffFerris Bueller's Day Off movie poster

Everyone wanted to be Ferris after watching this movie.  Ferris manages to skip class without getting caught and have the most exciting day ever in Chicago with his girlfriend, Sloan, and best friend, Cameron.  Meanwhile, his sister, Jeanie, tries to expose him to their parents and his principal, Principal Rooney, tries to prove he skipped class.  The back and forth between Ferris and Rooney and Ferris and Jeanie are some of the best moments of the film.  I wouldn’t have minded being Ferris during high school, if only for a day.

Easy A movie poster3) Easy A

Easy A is the film that placed Emma Stone on the map.  She has had many roles over the last couple years but for me, this will be one of her most iconic.  She absolutely nails it as Olive and it is hard to believe anyone as good looking would go by unnoticed for four years but hey, whatever.  The movie has a great message about how quickly information can be passed along and skewed in today’s digital age.  Easy A has some of the best support characters in a movie with Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as Olive’s parents.  They are hysterical and may be the definition of “relationship goals.”

2) SuperbadSuperbad movie poster

This was almost my number one selection until I saw my number one playing on TV and thought “How could I forget about that?!”  This may be one of the most accurate representations of what it feels like to be a high schooler on film, albeit a bit exaggerated.  Which makes sense given Seth Rogan wrote it while he was in high school.  This has everything high school seniors deal with: trying to get the girl, wanting to be accepted as “cool,” being embarrassed by parents, and even moving away from your best friend when you both go off to college.  Seth and Evan are very relatable which makes the adventure they go on with their third buddy, Fogell, all the more enjoyable.

Back to the Future movie poster1) Back to the Future

Back to the Future is one of those films that if you come across it playing on TV, you have to watch it for a little bit.  It is a classic that I don’t think I will ever get tired of watching.  Marty McFly accidentally goes back in time to when his parents met and interrupts their first meeting.  This causes one of the most hilarious situations in a movie ever: Marty’s mother begins to to fall in love with him.  Now Marty has to get his parents to fall in love before he vanishes from history.  It sounds like the bad spin off “How I Met My Mother.”  It’s hard to believe that this classic almost stared Eric Stoltz instead of Michael J. Fox, even though I have a hard time picturing anyone else other than Fox as Marty.  Of course, I can’t forget to mention the fantastic score by Alan Silvestri, one of my favorite film composers.  Simply put, everything comes together perfectly.

Honorable mentions include American Pie, Grease, Risky BusinessThe Karate Kid (1984), and The Breakfast Club.  What are some of your favorite films set in high school?

Movie Quote of the Week – 10/10/14

Answer to 10/8/14 MWL: Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman) – 21 Jump Street

Hardy: Do you even know the Miranda Rights?
Jenko: Yes.
Hardy: Let’s here them then.
Jenko: You got a lot of stuff to do.
Hardy: No, go ahead. Are you going anywhere, Schmidt? You’ve got time.
Schmidt: I had a thing but I could probably push it back.
Hardy: Go ahead. It’s four declamatory sentences followed by a question for a total of 57 words.
Jenko: Uh, ok. It obviously starts with ‘You have the right to remain silent.’ I know you’ve heard this before. And then, um, I think it sounds something like, uh…
Schmidt: [Under his breath] You have the right to an attorney.
Jenko: Yea, oh, right. You have the right to remain an attorney.
Hardy: Did you say that ‘you have to right to be an attorney?’
Schmidt: You do have the right to be an attorney if you want to.

The following people answered correctly:
emmakwal (explains it all)

22 Jump Street Trailer

Official Synopsis: After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college. But when Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the football team, and Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene, they begin to question their partnership. Now they don’t have to just crack the case – they have to figure out if they can have a mature relationship. If these two overgrown adolescents can grow from freshmen into real men, college might be the best thing that ever happened to them.

21 Jump Street was a surprise hit for me.  Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill had good chemistry, so any time to see them on screen together, I’m in.  It looks like a lot of the humor that made the first one so enjoyable is still there, which is a good sign.  One of the ongoing gags was Hill and Tatum looked too old for high school, and that gag continues here as well.  But I’m not sure if it will hold up the way it did before.  In any case, I’m looking forward to seeing this next summer.

Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and starring Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Ice Cube, 22 Jump Street hits theaters June 13, 2014.