The Five: Bro-mantic Cop Couples '21 Jump Street' Clearly Adores

During a post-screening Q-and-A at the South By Southwest Film Festival, Channing Tatum confirmed what most of us already believed about his upcoming comedy 21 Jump Street.  

“It’s a bro-mance,” he joked, referring to his “intimate” chemistry with co-star Jonah Hill. 
Of course it is, Channing. And we’ve seen it countless times before (though rarely as gonzo-bizarre as it happens to be in Jump Street). 
The male-bonding brotherhood has been fuelling the buddy-cop genre for decades, teaming testosterone-soaked A-listers for shoot-em-up thrillers. Tatum and Hill are the latest unlikely partnership, a yin-yang pairing of polar opposites who click like puzzle pieces when its time to buckle down and solve a crucial case. They aren’t the first bro-mantic cop couple … but are they one of the best? 
We decided to break down our five favorite crime-solving duos. Rent these films in preparation for 21 Jump Street, because I guarantee you directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller paid close attention to them as they put their must-see comedy together. 
Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, Lethal Weapon
The gold standard. Gibson and Glover broke the mold as Riggs and Murtaugh, L.A. cops whose petulant bickering turns to mutual admiration as their routine investigation expands and the partners need each other’s skills to survive. Like every other buddy-cop couple, this pair is defined by their differences. But the actors found such palpable screen chemistry that it elevated Shane Black’s already brilliant script. Richard Donner would chase that spark for three Lethal Weapon sequels. They didn’t work. But we’ll never get too old for the original. 
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, Bad Boys
Buddy-cop couples usually start off hating each other, yet few are as flat-out aggressive as Mike Lowery (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) in Michael Bay’s first Bad Boys. The pre-credit title sequence has them arguing over everything from cup holders and French fries to respecting another man’s ostentatious property. Yet when the game is on the line, Smith and Lawrence show they’ve got each other’s backs … and Bay’s ready to photograph them in egregious slow motion to prove his point. 
Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell, Tango & Cash
Another staple of the buddy-cop formula: They have to come from opposing walks of life. In one of the finest partner pairings, Lt. Ray Tango (Stallone) is a business suit-wearing, by-the-numbers cop who has to join forces with the anything-goes maverick Gabriel Cash (Kurt Russell) when they’re framed for a crime they didn’t commit. Both actors had done plenty of action films by the time they shot Tango in 1989, but few popped off the screen as vividly as the one they filmed together. Bonus points to Team Tango for not attempting to milk Stallone and Russell’s chemistry for a series of unnecessary sequels. 
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, Hot Fuzz
Some buddy-cop couples thrive on their physical differences, as when slight, lanky Simon Pegg partnered with his portly close friend and writing partner Nick Frost for the spoof Hot Fuzz. By poking fun at traditional buddy-cop combos, Pegg and Frost created one of the genre's most memorable, teaming up to take down a small-town murderer. And the best part about Pegg and Frost’s buddy-cop duo? They worship every other buddy-cop duo! (Well, Frost’s character does, at least.)
Tom Hanks and Beasley the Dog, Turner & Hooch
Or “That time Tom Hanks acted alongside of a dog before he went on to become a two-time Oscar winner.” By now, Turner & Hooch has become an easy punchline for the esteemed actor, the same way George Clooney pokes harmless fun at his time spent in a Bat suit. But in all honesty, acting alongside of an animal – any animal – is a challenge, and Hanks certainly rose to the occasion in Hooch
Who did we miss? Tell us your favorite in the comments section below!


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