The “buddy cop” film genre was a staple of the 1980s when the likes of Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, and Arnold Schwarzenegger jumped on board to make these action-comedies, which, no doubt, helped propel them to superstardom.
There seems to be different interpretations as to what categorizes a film as a “buddy cop” movie. Typically, it’s an action-comedy with the improbable partnering of two cops, though at times one law enforcement officer paired with a civilian will suffice (because, hey, it’s just that much more “zany” that way). But there’s certain aspects we’ve come to expect from these movies: two polar opposites – who’ve somehow stepped out of line on the job – get vindictively matched up by their curmudgeony superior who wants to teach them a lesson and have them catch the bad guys in the process. If there’s only one cop (which, I personally don’t really consider to be a true buddy cop scenerio), that means he’ll be forced to seek assistance by someone who’s more a hindrance than a help (this is usually the “outrageous comedy” variety).
Of course, whoever the partners may be, they’re usually both stubborn, unyielding, and prefer to work alone, so they’ll immediately butt heads – that makes for good comedy (“whacky” even). But in the end, something like having a near death experience and mutually causing millions of dollars’ worth of collateral damage will bond the unlikely duo against the greater forces of evil and in the span of one movie, turn them from adversaries to life-long friends.
There’s been a slew of these films in the last few decades, most just a carbon copy of the next, so here’s a look at the Top 10 Buddy Cop Movies.