Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Retro Review: Winners & Sinners (1983) #Hongkongcinema, #JackieChan

Winners & Sinners (Kei Mau Miu Gai Ng Fuk Sing)
1983
Cast: Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Richard Ng, Charlie Chin, Stanley Fung
Genre: Action Comedy
Hong Kong Box Office Gross: over $21 million

Plot: Fresh from prison, 5 friends try to stay crime-free but inadvertently find themselves caught in a triad war






'Not So Much A Winner, But Also Not A Complete Sinner'

Watching Winners and Sinners, this offering definitely has shades of the British Carry On comedy films, as it tries to play on the strengths of its stars, the comedy and humour, whilst also incorporating and blending Chinese martial arts. 

The first of seven movies of the series, Winners & Sinners tells the tale of 5 lucky stars, who are a bunch of con artists, thieves, in reference to the title series, & how they met up and how they ended up in jail. Each character is different from the rest: Teapot (Sammo Hung) is the big guy who bullies people, Curly is a bushy haired activist who wears glasses, Vaseline is the smooth talker who tries to blag his way through situations, in an attempt to steal expensive watches, with Ranks as the group's leader. Rounding up the group is Curly's sister, who is not only a good cook, but who becomes the unwanted attention as the group's love interest.

Highlights include the singing family singing Rod Stewart's ''Young Hearts Be Free Tonight'', which was amusing, a dwarf robbing a store, as is a kick-ass fight involving Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung and Sammo beating up the bad guys. There is a scene where a naked Richard Ng walks into the living room and his convict mates aren't even aware he exists! Jackie Chan roller skating and doing the splits is also worth looking out for, as is him chasing down the bad guys, whilst wearing skates.

Despite these moments, Winners & Sinners isn't as good as the second film, My Lucky Stars: it's not as funny dialogue-wise, there is not enough good slapstick, no Eric Tsang or Sibelle Hu, not enough Jackie Chan and the story isn't that appealing. As for the fight scenes, they are sparse and yet also they are not so bad, but again, they were and are far superior in the follow-up. The Lucky Stars movies are more about the comedy than the action itself. Plausibly, My Lucky Stars is not the direct follow-up to this film; with notable differences being Eric Tsang's absence and that Teapot meets Jackie's character for the first time. In the sequels, we discover the two characters have known each other since childhood. 

I had a bit of a hard time concentrating whilst sitting through this movie; as I said the story is very bland, not that absorbing and I lost interest in it very easily. Many of the gags are sight gags and as silly as they are, they will make no sense to you if you do not understand the English translation. This is more of a Sammo Hung vehicle than a Jackie Chan one and yet Chan's scenes, as well as the fight scenes as relatively few as they were, were the best part of the film. & it's a comedy action film, as opposed to the other way round as an action comedy, as the comedy is more of the focal point and a showcase for the talents of the other actors (who all work extremely well with each other), moreso than as a Jackie Chan led film.

Be that as it may, Winners and Sinners domestic success in Hong Kong set the trend for contemporary action comedies to flourish from that particular region, during the 1980s and 1990s.







Final Verdict:

This is a simple comedy offering that is reminiscent of The Three Stooges and this also doubles up as more than less Hong Kong's culturally specific take on the Carry On movies and yet, the first movie in the series is surpassed by My Lucky Stars.

I know this is well received by fans of Hong Kong comedies, and of the Lucky Stars series, but I just didn't enjoy Winners & Sinners as much as I'd wanted to. Comedy-wise, a lot of it wasn't so good and the action, whilst it is good in places, I've seen better in other films and action comedy films. & Jackie Chan's fight set pieces are just as good in My Lucky Stars.

Good thing and luckily that My Lucky Stars did everything and got everything just about right, which Winners & Sinners didn't quite manage to do.



Overall:


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Retro Review: Made In America (1993)

Made In America
1993
Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Danson, Nia Long, Will Smith, Jennifer Tilly 
Genre: Comedy 
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $104 million 

Plot: A young African American woman discovers her father was a sperm donor, and if that wasn't bad enough, he's White 






'Fade(d) In America'

Released back in the early 1990s, Made In America is a racial comedy misfire of epic proportions that at times, it is the type of film that ought to have something to say, from a cultural aspect. But instead, it turns out to be a completely not very amusing, and at times, a rather perplexing and bloated mess.

Sarah Matthews (Whoopi Goldberg) is the mother to Zora, who after paying a visit to a sperm bank, finds out the father is Hal Jackson (Ted Danson): a White used car salesman and matters are further complicated when he becomes more involved with their lives. As the movie progresses further, Hal later develops feelings for Sarah, as well as he starts to get a better understanding of her daughter. Yet as good as this all sounds, the actual film itself is an utter disappointment.

This film was produced by Michael Douglas alongside 2 other producers and also stars Nia Long and Will Smith who both later starred as lovebirds on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Will here is basically reenacting his role from the NBC sitcom - only he dons a pair of glasses to make him look dorky. Ted Danson is the weak link and for me just looked out of his league as the cowboy dad. In 1993, after hits with Three Men & A Baby and its sequel, A Little Lady during the 1980s and 1990, he wanted to further establish his movie career. Yet his age, lack of major roles, later on, ensured he would turn his attentions to TV, which he did so via sitcom Becker and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

The screwball comedy moments just doesn't work and the title of the movie doesn't elude to anything in relation to the actual plot. Made in America is a racially charged comedy that is problematically devoid of romance and comedy, & the chemistry between Danson and Goldberg is just, off. Despite their efforts, both actors cannot raise themselves above the poor and hackneyed writing and the further the story progressed, the less funnier and more unwatchable the movie became.

Made In America is a screwball comedy about race and ethnicity and a case of so-called mistaken identity, without following any of the rom-com/comedy conventions through beyond the father being a white guy thing. This should have been the ideal opportunity to present a social commentary on race and biracial relationships, yet what we get are situations and scenarios that do not lend themselves to the plot and really of which the film could have done without.


The other discerning issue is that the tone of the movie switches up so many times that there is no continuity or consistency. One minute it's a sitcom, the next it becomes serious, it's as if it doesn't know what it wants to be. There is a scene where Sarah walks into a car showroom and Wild West music is playing in the background. If that constitutes as being funny, then well, they are not trying hard enough.






Final Verdict


Made In America is a perplexing film that doubles up as a poor excuse of a comedy: without any real gags to speak of, it's therefore funny and contradictory that this film is billed as a comedy.


Because it is far from one. 




Overall:


Monday, 29 May 2017

Retro Review: Straight Talk (1992)

Straight Talk
1992
Cast: Dolly Parton, James Woods, Michael Madsen, Griffin Dunne, Teri Hatcher, Jay Thomas
Genre: Romantic Comedy
U.S Box Office Gross: $21 million

Plot: A woman ditches her small town life for big city Chicago, where she becomes a sensation as a radio show host







'Ho-hum Rom-Com That Doesn't Have Much To Offer'

Straight Talk stars country music star Dolly Parton in her first main cinematic lead role in this somewhat average, yet flat romantic comedy as Shirlee: a down on your luck woman who leaves the South to head upstate to the Central U.S onwards to Chicago, all in the hope of finding success, love and dreams. Whilst on the lookout for work as a secretary at a radio station, she is mistaken for an on-air radio shrink, this side of Dr Frasier Crane of Frasier. No sooner is she then thrust live on air to millions of listeners and taking their calls that she feels compelled to answer their queries and in helping to resolve their problems. In doing so, she becomes a national hit, in addition to being an honest gal giving advice, as well as opening herself up for people to buy into her advice. But her antics catch the eye of reporter Jack: the type of man Shirlee would have avoided back in her hometown.

The film does have that warmth to it and sees Shirlee moving to the windy city and after spotting an ad for a talk show host for WNTY. It does get off to a strong start, but as it gradually progresses, Straight Talk is at times charming and sweet, and yet at the same time, it doesn't make that much of a profound impact.

Whereas in Sweet Home Alabama, the moral of the story is not to forget your roots and where you came from, with Straight Talk it's more about wiping the slate clean, starting afresh and making something of yourself. The film is definitely a role-reversal to that of Sweet Home Alabama whereby the Southern girl makes it in the big city, which in this case is Chicago.

It was interesting to see James Woods as Jack play against type; he's not known for rom-com, love interest roles, but here he did rather well and he and Dolly looked good together as a pairing. Jack is a roving reporter on the lookout for the latest scoop and who is trying to discredit Shirlee, but as he does so, he ends up falling in love with her. Dolly herself is at her charismatic best, brimming with Southern charm and sweetness that isn't exacerbating. On paper, the pairing up of Woods and Parton does sound bizarre but watching their interactions together onscreen, it somehow worked on a certain level, personally speaking. Although I do wish that their romance had a bit more spice and intensity. 

The film features many of Dolly's songs and is very light and breezy and includes a brief appearance by Jay Thomas who was in Mork & Mindy as a TV host. The performances overall are solid, but nothing spell-binding or groundbreaking to talk about, even though its heart is firmly in the right place.

Dolly Parton is known for starring and appearing in light-hearted and comfort fare, given her warm and sincere and bubbly personality as a person, yet on Straight Talk, it is a movie that plays things way too safe for its own liking.






Final Verdict:

Straight Talk is a harmless romantic dramedy/comedy that has a few sweet moments tucked in, yet it lacks that extra something to truly make it worthwhile and memorable. It's nice and sweet in places, but nothing really much to speak of.

As a romantic comedy, I sort of find myself glued in places, but the script is predictable, humdrum and bland and with a paint-by-numbers formula that is far too basic.

It's Dolly Parton who though is the main focus, she does an ample job with the role; unfortunately, the writer and director didn't offer the likes of her and James Woods a more engaging, engrossing and bankable script. As a whole, Straight Talk is supposedly a modern fairy-tale romance come true, that as sincere, fluffy and forthright as it is, its execution sadly lacked bite, sharpness and memorable scenes to make it truly watchable.

Audiences who are not that content with only simplicity and who expect fireworks and surprises around the corner, are better off with other films. Rom-com wise, Straight Talk does fulfill some of its criteria, genre conventions and tropes but other than that and in contrast to its more successful counterparts such as Sleeping in Seattle, Tootsie, When Harry Met Sally and many others, it fails to hit the ground running.

Straight Talk is a film that is a lot of talk, & yet has very little substance. 


Overall:


Sunday, 28 May 2017

Retro Review: Dragnet (1987)

Dragnet
1987
Cast: Dan Ackroyd, Tom Hanks, Christopher Plummer, Harry Morgan, Alexandra Paul
Genre: Buddy Cop Comedy
Worldwide Box Office Gross: $66.7 million 

Plot: The equally straight laced and by- the- book nephew of Joe Friday must work with his more laid-back partner to solve a mystery







'Crime Caper That Hasn't Held Up Too Well & Of Which Is A Bit Of A Drag'

As I did with many other 1980s movies, I watched Dragnet as a child and enjoyed it a lot and yet in revisiting it today, it hasn't held up too well and the comedy ought to have been far more consistent also. The laughs and the jokes never made the grade and a lot of them came off as flat and too forced for me to buy into it. That, and the whole formula and set-up is too predictable, stiff and it feels as though the director and writer didn't do more to make Dragnet worthwhile. 

Dan Ackroyd is Sgt Joe Friday, the so-called nephew of Jack Webb's character & cop who acts as the straight man to wise guy Tom Hanks's Pep Streeback, Friday's new partner in crime. Assigned to investigate a series of crimes carried out by a gang going by the initials of P.A.G.A.N, Streeback and Friday seek to infiltrate the organisation. 

The film also marks as one of Tom Hanks's earlier attempts before he became a fully- fledged dramatic actor where he dabbled in Comedy; he did this with The Money Pit, Bachelor Party, Punchline, The Burbs, Big, Splash throughout the 1980s and whilst they have been a mixed bag in terms of quality, I do miss that side of Hanks where he was all goofy, silly and also having fun. I enjoyed the scenes where he was being silly and Hanks's turn here is not bad with him making occasional silly comments, but these moments were so few and far between. That, and he had to make do with such inconsistent -yet less amusing material.

The pairing and rapport of Dan Ackroyd and Tom Hanks should have amounted to a whole lot more, humour-wise; instead, Dragnet was mostly boring and it clearly struggles throughout in terms of eliciting genuine laughs. It was like the film was more wrapped up in emphasizing the traits of Friday and Streeback and less so on developing and understanding what is going around them and being aware of the situations they are in. 

It is a film that, over time, hasn't aged well at all and it is as such that for a film remake, this was a squandered opportunity for the writers to do something more with it and to bring out more of say, the farcical and slapstick comedy that would have further elevated this movie. 

Dragnet is a buddy cop comedy which has virtually so little comedy in it, or be it jokes which practically do not resonate as well today, as it did in the mid -1980s. 








Final Verdict:

The comedy here just doesn't come together very well, nor is there more of it when it is expected. Dragnet should have been far better, but in hindsight, it fails to capitalise on the humour and in making it more wacky and silly. There are definitely flaws in this film and one that hasn't stood the test of time, 30 + years on. 

The case itself is not all that interesting and the plot is rather bland.

Dragnet tries so hard to be funny: the thing is quality-wise, the humour and comedy isn't on par or all that great and quantity-wise, there isn't more of it in abundance with only brief flashes of it. And that is what is makes it so disappointing. 

It has its fans, who in particular, followed the TV show, but with so many other buddy cop comedy films out there, Dragnet falls way short and behind so many of its rivals. 



Overall:


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Retro Review: The Big Picture (1989)

The Big Picture
1989
Cast: Kevin Bacon, J.T Walsh, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael McKean, Teri Hatcher, Fran Drescher
Genre: Comedy
U.S Box Office Gross: over $117, 460

Plot: Film school graduate Nick Chapman thought his career was made after winning short film, but discovers that Hollywood isn't as easy as it seems








'Big Picture Fares So Little As A Comedy'

A comedy about the movie making business, 1989's The Big Picture is directed by Christopher Guest, who fared better with This is Spinal Tap, that satirically pokes fun at the Hollywood model of the film industry. Yet its downfall is the humour just didn't materialise, despite it reading 'a hilarious and twisted all-star cast'; this film is far from being hilarious. 

Film student Nick Chapman graduates with honours and his short film that was nominated wins a special prize. For aspiring movie maker Nick, his win enables him more exposure so that Hollywood backs the film he has long dreamed of making. Yet no sooner does Nick's dreams become a reality that he becomes seduced by Hollywood's charms and he loses his original film, as well as his girlfriend. 

Will Nick eventually wake up and come to his senses, before he loses track of everything, and everyone?

Columbia Pictures gave The Big Picture a limited theatrical release and as such, it grossed over $117, 000 in the U.S.

Sadly, as a comedy, The Big Picture doesn't work so well and is devoid of genuine laughs and humour and the tone is just not there throughout. A couple of years later, director Robert Altman came up with The Player, which virtually has the exact same premise and almost similar tone as this movie. The Big Picture lacks biting satire and accessible comedy for it to work, the pacing is arduously slow and whilst the film concentrates on Bacon's character's rapid selling out to the mainstream, commercial industry, this is all conceived in a way that is slow, drab, tedious and undeniably witless and is utterly humour less. 

Martin Short plays the camp agent with an awful perm, Kevin Bacon was a-okay, but the script did him no favours whatsoever. 

Movies about the film making business often leads to all manner of entertaining and offbeat situations that tend to be watchable and enjoyable. Yet The Big Picture is not one of them. As a comedy, it isn't amusing enough and as a satire, it's not hard-hitting or strong enough to live up to that billing. 

It was difficult for me to sustain my fullest interest and attention towards The Big Picture - and try as I might & did, it became too tiring that I decided I couldn't sit through any more of it. It's a pity: it has a good and simple premise that is easier to follow, but it all became buried and then lost within all the bland writing and lack of humour. 

I fathom at The Big Picture's intentions and what this film is trying to achieve and say. However, Christopher Guest's banal direction put paid to all of that and thus, it falls way short in my expectations. 








Final Verdict:


If you are looking for a comedy film that pokes fun at the movie industry, your best bet for that is Bowfinger- far more satirical and more to it, it is funnier.


On the contrary The Big Picture is utterly bland and despite its good intentions, has an uninspired and lifeless direction that fails to initiate any real or genuine interest for the audience, though moreso in particular towards myself.




Overall:

Saturday, 20 May 2017

How I Review Movies





When I watch and review a film for the purpose of this blog, there are certain things that come to mind which I take into consideration when evaluating and in deciding if this is actually worth owning on DVD. Movies, like TV shows, video games and other mass entertainment mediums, exist solely for our enjoyment and pleasure. But they also generate a range of different feelings, emotions and reactions from us: some make you laugh, cry, angry perhaps, others make you fall in love with the film and its characters, others contain performances by the actors/actresses themselves that really make the movie worth seeing, alone. 

As you can tell, I use numerical ratings from 1 to 10 to rate films: the reason why I chose the 1 to 10 scale, as opposed to say 1 to 5 or any other rating system, is for me, I think 1 to 10 is much broader and easier for me to allocate a score for that film. 1 to 5 is too narrow for my tastes and simply having just great, very good, good, okay, bad, doesn't work for me. 

Review scores are always subjective and not indicative of the movie's quality itself (well, in general anyway) and whilst I cannot convince, or be it won't convince anyone to agree with the score and my views towards that film, what I am aware of is that my comments represent how I perceive this movie. We all watch movies but we also read movies differently and also we see and notice things, other people do not see in them; be it in the characters, the stories, plot twists or whatever. And so, it's always a good thing to have one's opinion on it, be it good or bad. If bad, at least it has to be constructive, as to why it is not so good. 

I don't consider myself a pro critic - I am just someone who enjoys watching '80s and '90s films, with some 2000 and post-2000 efforts thrown in also. I'm more into the films that came out as a child and a teenager, more than the current stuff that is out today in the cinema.

As for what criteria do I use that determines whether or not I love it, like it, enjoy it - or dislike it, loathe it, the aspects I focus on when reviewing a film, and deciding if I like it or not are:


- The main casting - Is it good, remarkable, noteworthy, on paper do the names sound promising? And their performances on screen

- Dialogue and the script: does it leap in front of me, make me excited, giddy, put a smile on my face, or does it practically bore me to sleep? More importantly, is it well-written and does it make sense?

- Directing/the direction: how were the scenes and dialogue conveyed and guided by the director? Is their direction for the story a good one to take?

- Special effects, visuals, sets, the score all help further advance the movie and the story

- The performance/s has/have to be good or special for me to say they were excellent, magnificent etc. 

- The believability of the performance and whether or not the actor/actress sold me on their performance. If the answer is yes, then from an acting point of view, they succeeded

- Likability, relatability of the main protagonist: is the portrayal by the actor/actress deemed likeable for me in wanting them to get their happy ending in the end? Dislikeable protagonist characters put me off from enjoying the movie, and so this is important that their depiction is a positive one in many respects

- For martial arts and action movies, the stunts, fight scenes have to be extraordinary to blow my mind, as well as well choreographed. 

- For romantic comedies and dramas, it's the chemistry of the male and female leads as the protagonist and love interest, how good they look together as a pairing and whether or not I buy into their relationship.

- With dramas, the story has to be strong, but also not too overly complicated for me to follow. It has to be easier to understand and follow. If a story can make the type of impact that touches audiences on an emotional level, far more so than special effects, then the writer/s have achieved in their task.

- For comedy films, the major factor is that it has to be funny; it has to be highly amusing and almost side-splittingly funny. The sight gags, funny one-liners, pratfalls, physical and verbal comedy has to hit the spot

- The longer I sit through this film, is it going to get better as it continues, or going to gradually get worse until it ends?

- How the film makes me feel whilst I sit through it? Is it of happiness, excitement, content, sadness, frustration, or anger? What is its tone or mood? 

- How do I feel about the film now it has ended? Relief, sadness, disappointment or happiness?

- Making comparisons with other films that have similar plots, or actors/actresses who star in similar movies as them and how they contrast and compare

- Have to weigh both the pros and cons of the film

- The music: is it tolerable enough to listen to, does it suit the theme of the movie? does it evoke the right tone in a particular situation or scene?

- The love, sex and kissing scenes: are they tastefully done? Are they badly acted? Bad sex and kissing scenes that make me squirm are ones that do not evoke or generate sexual chemistry or passion.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Retro Review: The Rock (1996)

The Rock
1996
Cast: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer, Michael Biehn
Genre: Action Thriller
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $200 million 

Plot: A mild-mannered chemist and ex- con man must lead a counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco







'Can You Smell What The Rock Is Cookin?'

The Rock has the make and feel of a B-movie by all accounts with its large explosions and low-key editing. Directed by Michael Bay - years before his work went into steady decline, beginning with the Transformers live-action movies - this is an example of a film that demonstrates the former talents of Bay and effectively carves out an engrossing action film.

The casting is pretty much spot-on, with Connery and Cage as the plucky heroes and Harris turning in a highly effective antagonist & anti-hero performance. Being the bad guy, introduced a few minutes after the intro, he doesn't let up and manages to maintain his authority, whilst emphasising his character's existence and his motives into doing what he does. As the film progresses, we learn that he isn't as outright evil for the sake of it, but also he has a conscience. 

The plot of the film essentially follows a group of mercenaries, or be it marines led by Harris's Francis Hummel who seize control of a former prison in Alcatraz on the bay of San Francisco. Hummel threatens a nuclear attack on the city's soil if his demands are not being met. The government then turn to Goodspeed and Mason - with the latter having managed to escape Alcatraz and the prison that goes by the name of The Rock (henceforth, the title of the film). Goodspeed and Mason must work together, in order to foil Hummel's plans. 

Likewise, with Sean Connery here shows that he could still cut it on the action front, and as the elder statesman, whilst Nicolas Cage's turn as bio weapon's expert, Stanley Goodspeed spearheaded what later turned out to be Con Air and Face/Off, in his transition as an action star actor. This unlikely partnership works well, as they bounce off one another: with Cage's character emphasising his points whenever he shouts out his lines and Connery's character, Brit and ex-SAS captain, John Mason is like an incarnation of James Bond 007- only more badass and even rougher around the edges. His one-liners, occasional and unintentional bursts of humour and charisma we long tend to associate Connery with, in his other performances, ultimately shows that not only can he cut it as 007, but also as Mason. Arguably, he gives the best performance out of the cast; with latter movies, The Rock and Finding Forrester, Sean Connery bowed out of the limelight, & gracefully with penultimate and extraordinary turns. 

Cage and Connery's buddy-like camaraderie works like a dream: an uncanny and unlikely partnership a few of us saw coming, and yet when they were on screen together in a couple of scenes, it felt genuine and believable enough for me to get behind and root for to succeed in the end. 

I will admit that as I sat through this film, the pace was a little slow and sluggish; some of it could have been trimmed and certain aspects of it that didn't involve an action set-piece did drag on a little longer than they ought to have. But from the middle towards the final third, was when The Rock really kicked into third gear with the action. 

And when it did, it was fun to watch. 







Final Verdict:

Unlike the latter Michael Bay films, The Rock manages to retain a sense of uniqueness that doesn't sell out to the audience, as well as an image that doesn't dilute or cheapen oneself. 

It's big, it's bold, brash, hard with some great action set pieces and with three unlikely cast members in Harris, Cage, Connery in a film such as this together, The Rock gives it everything it has got in the action tank. 



Overall:



My 10 Favourite Buddy Cop Action Movies

Movies featuring two unlikely mismatched detectives (comprised of a straight cop and someone who is a bit unorthodox in their methods and has a different attitude or approach) have been popular over the past 4 decades - or be it 3 decades, as the sub-genre isn't as dominant as it used to be before. They became omnipresent throughout the 1980s and 1990s, which all started off with 48 Hrs back in 1982, only for Lethal Weapon to really kickstart the buddy cop boom, in a massive way in the mid -1980s onwards.

In honour of one of my favourite movie sub-genres, as well as action movie sub-genres, I've selected 10 of my personal choices that struck a chord with me for various and numerous reasons.  



Lethal Weapon (1987)




Starring post -Mad Max's Mel Gibson as the crazed Martin Riggs, who is still coming to terms with the death of his wife and Danny Glover as family man and fellow veteran LAPD cop Roger Murtaugh, Steven Hyden of Uproxx said: Lethal Weapon helped to establish the rules of the buddy cop subgenre. 


Tango & Cash (1989)




Two cops who despise each other's guts are forced to work together, Tango & Cash took the buddy cop formula and turned it on its head. Sly Stallone and Kurt Russell click on-screen as Ray Tango and Gabriel Cash and that's why this film has remained so popular in the 30 + years since its release in 1989 says Jack Grant (Screenrant).



48 Hrs (1982)




The originator and first of the buddy cop sub-genre, the title of the film refers to the amount of time a cop named Jack Cates and a convict in Reggie Hammond- who team up- have to solve a crime. Its success paved the way for Lethal Weapon, Rush Hour & many others to follow suit.


Dead Heat (1988)



A buddy cop movie with a difference with Treat Williams as the straight-laced Roger Mortis and comedian Joe Piscopo as his witty partner, Doug Bigelow this one mixes in Dawn of the Dead's zombies, but with the dead cop brought back to life as a zombie and over the years it has become a cult classic. 


Running Scared (1986)



This one operates more on the comedic side and less so on the action, in contrast to many other movies. Running Scared was comedian turned actor Billy Crystal's breakout hit and only second movie. It may not have set the standards that were achieved with Lethal Weapon, 48 Hrs, but one thing this film did do is to showcase how convincing both Crystal and Hines can be as cops. Not to be confused with Running Scared of 2006 starring Paul Walker. 


Bad Boys (1995)



Bad Boys is unlike so many buddy cop comedies before it, as for starters it was and arguably is the first buddy cop comedy to feature the teaming up of African American actors & stars Will Smith & Martin Lawrence as a Miami crime busting duo, as opposed to the stereotypical bad guys and criminals. 


Police Story 3 Supercop (1992)



Starring Jackie Chan as a Hong Kong police inspector and Michelle Yeoh as a Interpol director and third instalment in the Police Story series sees Jackie fighting the criminals, with the help of a female accomplice/partner. And their fight scenes are great.


Hot Fuzz (2007)




A deconstructive parody of, as well as a homage to American buddy cop movies, this one is set in the UK and is from the makers of Shaun of the Dead: another comedy that spoofed horror films. British humour at its finest. Arguably, Hot Fuzz is better than its former film. 

  
Red Heat (1988)





Walter Hill's follow-up to 48 Hrs, Red Heat was released 6 years after with Arnold Schwarzenegger as a Russian cop, Ivan Danko kicking major ass, alongside Chicago hothead, Ridzik played by James Belushi. This is a rare example of a buddy cop comedy where the serious cop overshadows the more comical guy; Red Heat is more of a standalone Arnie vehicle compared to many other movies where it is spearheaded by two stars or actors. Whilst it is not so much engaging, it still provides a few entertaining moments along the way. 


The Other Guys (2010)




The second of two 2000/post 2000s entries on my list, the buddy cop genre in the 2000s and post 2010 have been few, far between and a lot of them are rather lacklustre in my opinion. Yet in The Other Guys, this one stands out for me by far, thanks to the unlikely pairing of former SNL star, Will Ferrell who is another one of those successful comedians-turned-movie stars and Mark Walberg. It does overplay on the cliches, but also it is a film that remains as consistently funny as it is. 

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