Here’s to the odd couples, the unlikely pairings, the mismatches. Some of cinema’s most memorable characters found themselves paired up with an improbable pal; here’s ten of our favourite examples. Movies are always better watched together, of course – you can enjoy 2 for 1 cinema tickets every Tuesday or Wednesday for a whole year with MEERKAT MOVIES, only when you buy through comparethemarket.com
10. Rush Hour
The two sequels it spawned might not be up to much snuff, but the original Rush Hour remains a silly, infectious treat. There are few odder couples than Chris Tucker’s fast-talking cop and Jackie Chan’s fast-kicking Hong Kong counterpart, but it proves a fruitful fellowship, and the first Hollywood movie to properly utilise Chan’s talents.
9. Withnail And I
If you were looking for the finest buddy movies known to humanity, Withnail & I might not be your first stop. Withnail and the never-named ‘I’ are very much not two tough NYPD cops who are forced to solve a case; rather, they’re a couple of drunk London actors who go on holiday by mistake. But their unlikely friendship is among the best examples of buddies in adversity, and the greatest weekend bender ever committed to screen. Just don’t play the drinking game...
8. Midnight Run
A staple of a few classic buddy movies is a humble pair of handcuffs, instantly forcing a couple of frenemies into a close encounter. In Midnight Run, this simple prop is utilised for maximum effect, seeing Robert De Niro’s bounty hunter chained to Charles Grodin’s accountant as they travel across the country, from New York to Los Angeles. As the two soon find out, you can learn a lot about a man by being cuffed to him.
7. 21 Jump Street
The buddy movie that perfectly parodied the whole idea of buddy movies. Directing team Phil Lord and Chris Miller took a cheesy 1980s TV show and transformed it into a brilliant tongue-in-cheek comedy, pitching Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as gloriously inept undercover cops infiltrating a high-school drug ring; their psychedelic trip on hip new drug HFS is particularly entertaining to witness.
6. Die Hard With A Vengeance
Officially recognised as the best Die Hard sequel, Bruce Willis’ third outing as John McClane sees him team up with irascible Harlem resident Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson), forced to solve fiendish riddles set by a terrorist on the streets of Manhattan. If McClane ever found his match, it was in Zeus.
5. Turner And Hooch
Half a decade before Philadelphia marked the start of Serious Tom Hanks, there was the glorious early years of Silly Tom Hanks. In this late-period incarnation of Silly Tom Hanks, we saw America’s favourite everyman play a detective who partners with a dribbling dog. Not since Lassie has a heroic mutt achieved so much in the pursuit of law enforcement.
4. Hot Fuzz
The first and possibly last action movie to be filmed in the sleepy Somerset town of Wells (population: 10,536, plus a couple of swans) sees everyone’s favourite Brit bromance, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, play cops from two very different walks of life; one from the big city, the other from the countryside. Cornettos all round!
3. 48 Hrs.
Joel Schumacher’s action comedy essentially invented the modern-day buddy template as we know it: one’s a grizzled old cop who don’t take kindly to no funny business; the other’s a wise-ass from the wrong side of the tracks. By a quirk of fate, they’re forced to work together, and ultimately forge a begrudging mutual respect.
2. Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid
Paul Newman is the lackadaisical blue-eyed casanova, ready to serenade you with a bit of Burt Bacharach and a bike ride; Robert Redford is his uptight pal with questionable facial hair. They’ll bicker, but you know they’d follow each other to the ends of the earth (or at least, the end of a cliff). Enough to charm the cowboy boots off you, and then some.
1. Lethal Weapon
Be it affectionate tribute, parody, or just straight rip-off, every modern buddy movie owes a debt to Lethal Weapon, Shane Black and Richard Donner’s iconic thriller, which teamed up the cocky but depressive Riggs (Mel Gibson) with the weary but brilliant Murtaugh (Danny Glover) – a partnership which lasted for three more mostly successful movies. Wisecracks, gunfights, ‘80s excess, bad hair – you’re never too old for this shit.
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