Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan foray into the cop comedy genre with Cop Out, and we decided it's as good a time as any to take a look back at the classics. The formula's been used dozens of times before – an unlikely pairing of cops overcome their differences to bring a criminal to justice, with antics ensuing over race relations, larger-than-life action scenes and the like. Click through for the few that are deserving of gut-busting laughs and multiple viewings.
By Lizerne Guiting
Before director Michael Bay was setting explosion records for Transformers, he blew things up with the comedy and action flair of these Bad Boys. The movie packs plenty of action, fast cars and hot women, but the real difference is the chemistry between Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, who played off each other so well, the sequel spawned twice the original's box office profits.
Danny Glover and Mel Gibson were at their prime in this buddy pic, and their unlikely pairing as polar opposite cop partners brought on the laughs, memorable one-liners and a dose of sentimentality. Glover's signature line, "I'm too old for this ****," never really got old – and after three sequels, we're betting he's still the fan fave to return for the role if there's ever a Lethal Weapon 5.
The absurdity of a competent partner paired with a bumbling bloke, slow-motion shoot-outs and grisly scenes are parodied to perfection in this British pic. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost poke fun at the genre in their own cop comedy in which all clichés are fair game, as well as solve the mystery of who's causing fatal "accidents" in their crime-free village.
Nick Nolte is the gruff maverick cop who enlists the help of Eddie Murphy, an incarcerated con-man, for a case involving an escaped convict. Think Rush Hour's Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, but with more outrageous un-PC banter on the race relations. Murphy and Nolte did it best, creating a classic and setting a standard for the genre that very few can top.
It's not too often a movie blends the right amount of suspense and thrills with hysterics, but director John Badham shows us how it's done. Richard Dreyfuss plays one of the fun-loving detectives staking out the house of an escaped convict's girlfriend. When he falls in love with her, he and his partner get entangled in the investigation. Hijinx ensue--until the ex-con shows up.
Beverly Hills Cop
After 48 Hours, Eddie Murphy returned to another police pic, this time as a Detroit cop who travels to Beverly Hills to investigate his friend's murder. Murphy's at the top of his game as a fish-out-of-water smart aleck, delivering lots of laughs and a bit of improv in this actioner. Keep an eye out for Bronson Pinchot's scene-stealing cameo.
Turner & Hooch
Tom Hanks pairs up with a murdered man's dog – the closest thing he's got to a witness for the case. The slobbery beast serves up mess and destruction for Hanks' clean-cut character, but the odd couple certainly provide an entertaining and eventually heartwarming story for animal lovers and Hanks fans alike.
Tango & Cash
Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell play rival L.A. cops who are framed and sent to prison by a drug lord. To defeat their enemy and clear their names, they have to work together and overcome their differences—you know how the story goes. Despite being often described as "kitscy" and highly implausible, you can't really go wrong with a no-brainer flick with two of the hottest action stars of the '80s, a fun script and a sexy Teri Hatcher.
The Governator stars as a stone-faced Russian detective, paired with a crazy Chicago cop (Jim Belushi) in another one of director Walter Hill's hardcore cop comedies. Arnold Schwarzenegger's body-baring fights and Belushi's wise-cracks turn a run-of-the-mill buddy cop pic into a good mix of action and fun, plus it finally makes sense for Arnie to have an accent!
If you're feeling nostalgic for the '80s, dust off your video of this sharply written cop comedy starring Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines. Their chemistry makes their partners-for-years characters believable, and it's got an awesome chase scene on an elevated train...definitely one of the best and most original cop comedies of the decade.