• ‘Hot Pursuit’ is the latest release in buddy-cop genre
• Eddie Murphy stars in two of the best in the genre
• Whoopi Goldberg’s “Theodore Rex” is a real dinosaur
“Hot Pursuit” — starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara — is the latest in the familiar buddy-cop comedy movie genre that teams two cops or one cop and a criminal, canine or some other creature to make their way through a series of adventures and misadventures.
The format has resulted in some really fun movies that save the day with laughs. It’s also been the place for some wretched offerings that are an insult in the first degree.
Here’s a look at the 10 best and worst buddy-cop movies.
“48 Hrs.” (1982): Eddie Murphy teams with Nick Nolte to make this the prototype for buddy-cop movies. Director Walter Hill mixes perfect amounts of action and comedy.
“Hot Fuzz” (2007): Director/co-writer/actor Edgar Wright structures this tale of a top cop (Simon Pegg) sent to a small town as a punishment in such a way that the buddy part comes as a big surprise. No other film in the genre takes as dramatic a turn as this one.
“Lethal Weapon” (1987): Mel Gibson supplies the crazy action and Danny Glover the comedy in this film from Richard Donner. It’s another example of how making the characters so different generates more laughs.
“The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!” (1988): Surely this is a great movie. It is, and don’t call me Shirley. Leslie Nielsen became America’s answer to Inspector Clouseau with his Detective Frank Drebin. It’s great despite a painfully bad performance by O.J. Simpson.
“Men in Black” (1997): Grumpy (Tommy Lee Jones) meets rookie (Will Smith). These law enforcement buddies take the comedy and criminals to an intergalactic level. Barry Sonnenfeld never lets the big special effects get in the way of the connection between the partners.
“The Heat” (2013): Director Paul Feig shows that buddy movies are exclusively for men. A by-the-book FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) teams with a foul-mouthed cop (Melissa McCarthy) to stop a drug lord and create some very funny moments.
“Beverly Hills Cop” (1984): Eddie Murphy hits his buddy-cop stride as freewheeling Axel Foley. It helps that Judge Reinhold plays such a stiff as Detective Billy Rosewood. The film also shows another use for bananas.
“Bad Boys” (1995): What you going to do when this film comes for you? Laugh and enjoy the action as played out by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. They were good enough together to make two sequels fun.
“Rush Hour” (1998): The athletic ability of Jackie Chan is enough to make this a fun film. The entertainment value gets bumped up with Chris Tucker’s fast-talking delivery.
“Stakeout” (1987): Director John Badham mixes a little romance into the formula as the cops, played by Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez, stake out a beautiful woman.
“Cop Out” (2010): Bruce Willis must have lost a huge bet to star in this criminally bad movie. The only thing that didn’t turn this into the movie that killed his career is that Tracy Morgan was so awful a pencil sharpener would look like a good actor next to him.
“Collision Course” (1989): Pat Morita would have loved everyone to wax off all memories of this movie he made with Jay Leno. The performance by Leno as a Detroit cop is as embarrassing as David Letterman’s work in “Cabin Boy.”
“Theodore Rex” (1995): A police officer (Whoopi Goldberg) is teamed with a talking dinosaur. Yes. Really. No kidding. Not making this up. Wish it wasn’t true.
“K-9” (1989): The genre went to the dogs when Jim Belushi plays a maverick cop who must team with a smart-aleck dog. One of them is a good actor. The other starred on “According to Jim.”
“Top Dog” (1995): Another dog. This one has Chuck Norris joining forces with a four-legged companion. It’s the first example of a movie having fleas.
“Starsky & Hutch” (2004): Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson not only show their acting limitations but the stink of this remake of the ‘70s show drifted back through time to infect the original series.
“Cop and a Half (1993): If you think the dinosaur partner was a bad idea, this film shows how much worse an idea can get. Burt Reynolds is teamed with an 8-year-old who dreams of being a police officer. Only film where investigations stop in mid-afternoon for nap time.
“Hollywood Homicide” (2004): What’s worse than Harrison Ford crashing a plane on a golf course? This movie. He and Josh Hartnett play LAPD detectives investigating the murder of a rap group. It’s a stinker.
“Dead Heat” (1988): Remember Joe Piscopo? No? It’s because of this movie. He and Treat Williams play cops brought back to life to stop supernatural criminals. Someone should have brought the script back from the dead.
“Double Team” (1997): It’s hard to decide if Jean-Claude Van Damme or Dennis Rodman is the worse actor in this film. It’s best to call it a tie because they both make very good cases.