10 Best Buddy Cop Duos (Including One Trio) to Date

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

It's always the same story... two very different cops... are forced to be partners and despite their differences--they wind up friends and take down the big bad guy. Like so many movie formulas this is a common one, but in spite of its predictability most of these buddy cop films are pretty awesome in their own unique way.

Jenko & Schmidt in '21 Jump Street' With the theater release of '22 Jump Street' last week, it's only appropriate that I start with these two lovable goofballs. Originally I was skeptical about how teaming up beefcake Channing Tatum with a very non-sexy Jonah Hill (sorry!) was going to work, but this pair proved me wrong as two rookies forced to partner up and go undercover as high school students. Watching these two try to adjust to a modern day high school, which now includes 'hipsters' and skinny jeans, is hilarious on its own, but it's really the 'opposites attract' bromance that forms between these dudes that makes this flick funny.

Axel Foley & Billy Rosewood & Taggert in 'Beverly Hills Cops' What happens when you place a carefree smart aleck Detroit cop with two uptight but fun Beverly Hills police officers?? You get one awesome trio. This is my favorite film of all time for a reason. Murphy is charming as Axel Foley who's in LA investigating the death of his friend. Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) , an idealistic, dim-witted detective and Sergeant Taggert, the disapproving partner (John Ashton) , are assigned to tail Foley to make sure he doesn't get into mischief. Forced to deal with each other, these three very different guys form an unlikely bond in this smart hit comedy of the '80s.

George Kuffs & Ted Bukovsky in 'Kuffs' I'm not sure how many have seen this early '90s flick, but it's one of Christian Slater's best films... what few there are... and it's mostly due to the combination of reckless 21-year-old George Kuffs, played by Slater and a high strung Ted Bukovsky, played by Tony Goldwyn, the bad guy from 'Ghost' ... whether they're involved in a rooftop shoot out or have just escaped from a warehouse explosion, Kuff just shrugs it off; while Ted freaks out and watching these two react to each other is priceless.

This story continues on the next page.

Chief Inspector Lee & Detective Carter in 'Rush Hour' Cultures clash in this East meets West action flick--A loud mouth Los Angeles detective, Carter (Chris Tucker), is paired up with a Hong Kong Chief Inspector, Lee (Jackie Chan), who speaks little to no English. The two can't stand working together, but despite their conflicting personalities, do it well. Lee brings with him his martial arts expertise; and Carter his ability to talk smack. The chemistry between Chan and Tucker was so good it resulted in two sequels, making them one of the best comedic duos to date.

Ray Tango and Gabriel Cash in 'Tango and Cash' Can Rambo and Snake Plissken really work together? Yup... In an overly manly film 'Tango and Cash,' action icons Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell are two tough-as- nails cops framed for murder. After being thrown in prison, these muscly yet completely different men, team together to break out of prison, kick some butt, and dish out cheesy one-liners as they take out groups of bad guys and bring down a vicious drug lord. This is one of those 'men' movies that would come on the Spike channel, but it's still pretty cool.

Nicholas Angel and Danny Butterman in 'Hot Fuzz' A no nonsense super cop Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is reassigned from London to the 'crime-free' small village of Sanford. Once settled in, Angel reluctantly takes as his partner the oafish and action film obsessed cop Danny Butterman (Nick Frost). Mysterious occurrences lead this mismatched pair to believe that the 'innocent folks' in this small village might be hiding something. The highlight, I'd say, is seeing this pair of Brits bond over 'Point Break' and confide in each other as they work towards solving the crime in this witty comedy.

Dooley and Jerry Lee in 'K-9' The right couple of guys can make a great buddy duo. And both of them don't have to be human. Dooly (John Belushi) plays an irresponsible cop whom nobody wants to work with. As punishment he's given a police pup as a partner, quick-tempered Jerry Lee. Dooley and Jerry Lee go out of their way to get on each other's nerves. Even still, with the aid of his non-speaking partner, Dooly is able to sniff out the... always surprising ... drug lord of the movie. The movie is a little cheesy, but the adorable relationship makes this a better watch than other poochie flick, 'Turner and Hooch' which doesn't end as well as this one.

Jack Colt and Wes Luger in 'Loaded Weapon' In this spoof of 'Lethal Weapon,' Emilio Estevez, plays Jack Colt... an obvious imitation of Mel Gibson's character in 'Lethal Weapon'... and Samuel L. Jackson is his overly serious partner Wes Luger. A parody, this film follows the same formula as 'Lethal Weapon while adding over the top embellishments to each scene. But the 'shaking your head' laughs are provided mostly by Estevez and Jackson, who make the film entertaining and ridiculous.

This story continues on the next page.

Joe Friday & Pep Streebek in 'Dragnet' Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks take the cake as far as odd match-ups, but they couldn't be more perfect for each other as stern, 'by the book' detective Joe Friday (Aykroyd); and smart-mouthed detective Pep. Streebeck (Hanks), in this 1987 remake of the classic TV show of the same name. While Friday's spouting section codes at everyone, Streebeck likes testing his partner's patience. But as always, the two bond as they investigate mysterious robberies involving a cult group called P.A.G.A.N.

Johnny Utah & Angelo Pappas in 'Point Break' Ok, so the twosome in here aren't cops... they're FBI agents. But this is such a fun duo that I had to give them credit due. Keanu Reeves plays Johnny Utah, an undercover agent tossed into the surfer community, a role perfect for him-- and Gary Busey plays Angelo Pappas his sloppy veteran partner, who schools Utah in the ways of the job. Although these two don't share much screen time, they are still a fun pair that add some comedic elements to this surfer action flick.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.