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Buddy cop is a film and television genre with plots involving two people of very different and conflicting personalities who are forced to work together to solve a crime and/or defeat criminals, sometimes learning from each other in the process. The two are normally either police officers (cops) or secret agents, but some films or TV series that are not about two officers may still be referred to as buddy cop films/TV series. It is a subgenre of buddy films. They can be either comedies or action-thrillers.
Frequently, although not always, the two heroes are of different ethnicity or cultures. However, regardless of ethnicity, the central difference is normally that one is "wilder" than the other: a hot-tempered iconoclast is paired with a more even-tempered partner. Often the "wilder" partner is the younger of the two, with the even-tempered partner having more patience and experience. These films sometimes also contain a variation on the good cop/bad cop motif, in which one partner is kinder and law-abiding, while the other is a streetwise, "old school" police officer who tends to break (or at least bend) the rules. Another frequent plot device of this genre is placing one of the partners in an unfamiliar setting (like a different city or foreign country) or role (like requiring police field work of a non-cop, rookie, or office-bound "desk jockey"). In these cases, they are usually guided by the other partner.
In his review of Rush Hour , Roger Ebert coined the term "Wunza Movie" to describe this subgenre, a pun on the phrase "One's a..." that could be used to describe the contrasts between the two characters in a typical film. 
The cliché was satirized in the film Last Action Hero . While the movie in itself was a buddy cop film (i.e. pairing a fictional cop with a real world boy), the film's police department obligatorily assigned all cops a conflicting buddy to work with, even to the extreme of one officer being partnered with a cartoon cat.
A subgenre of the buddy cop film is the buddy cop-dog movie, which teams a cop with a dog, but uses the same element of unlikely partnership to create comedic hijinks. Examples include Turner & Hooch , Top Dog and K-9 .
Akira Kurosawa's 1949 Japanese film Stray Dog , starring Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura, is considered a precursor to the buddy cop film genre.  Other early pioneers of the buddy cop film genre are the 1967 American film In the Heat of the Night and 1974's Freebie and the Bean . The genre was later popularized by the 1982 film 48 Hrs. , starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte, then also the 1984 film Beverly Hills Cop along with its 1987 sequel Beverly Hills Cop II , all three are among the most successful buddy cop films. The genre was further popularized by the 1986 film Running Scared starring Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal and the 1987 film Lethal Weapon starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. The genre was revisited multiple times by Lethal Weapon creator Shane Black, who went on to write The Last Boy Scout , Last Action Hero , Kiss Kiss Bang Bang , and The Nice Guys , all of which play off the mismatched-partners (if not always specifically cops) theme.
A comedy film is a category of film which emphasizes humor. These films are designed to make the audience laugh through amusement. Films in this style traditionally have a happy ending. Comedy is one of the oldest genres in film—and derived from the classical comedy in theatre. Some of the earliest silent films were comedies, as slapstick comedy often relies on visual depictions, without requiring sound. When sound films became more prevalent during the 1920s, comedy films grew in popularity, as laughter could result from burlesque situations but now also dialogue.
Action film is a film genre in which the protagonist is thrust into a series of events that typically involve violence and physical feats. The genre tends to feature a mostly resourceful hero struggling against incredible odds, which include life-threatening situations, a dangerous villain, or a pursuit which usually concludes in victory for the hero.
Lethal Weapon is a 1987 American buddy cop action comedy film directed and co-produced by Richard Donner, written by Shane Black, and co-produced by Joel Silver. It stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover alongside Gary Busey, Tom Atkins, Darlene Love, and Mitchell Ryan. In Lethal Weapon, a pair of mismatched LAPD detectives – Martin Riggs (Gibson), a former Green Beret who has become suicidal following the death of his wife, and veteran officer and family man Roger Murtaugh (Glover) – work together as partners.
The police procedural, police show, or police crime drama, is a subgenre of procedural drama and detective fiction that emphasizes the investigative procedure of a police officer or department as the protagonist(s), as contrasted with other genres that focus on either a private detective, an amateur investigator or the characters who are the targets of investigations. While many police procedurals conceal the criminal's identity until the crime is solved in the narrative climax, others reveal the perpetrator's identity to the audience early in the narrative, making it an inverted detective story. Whatever the plot style, the defining element of a police procedural is the attempt to accurately depict the profession of law enforcement, including such police-related topics as forensic science, autopsies, gathering evidence, search warrants, interrogation and adherence to legal restrictions and procedure.
Bad Boys is a 1995 American buddy cop action film directed by Michael Bay in his feature directorial debut, and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. The film stars Martin Lawrence and Will Smith as two Miami narcotics detectives, Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey. The film received mixed reviews from critics, was commercially successful and spawned two sequels, Bad Boys II (2003) and Bad Boys for Life (2020).
Beverly Hills Cop is a 1984 American buddy cop action comedy film directed by Martin Brest, screenplay by Daniel Petrie Jr., story by Danilo Bach and Daniel Petrie Jr., and starring Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit cop who visits Beverly Hills, California to solve the murder of his best friend. Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Ronny Cox, Lisa Eilbacher, Steven Berkoff, Paul Reiser, and Jonathan Banks appear in supporting roles.
National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 is a 1993 American parody film directed and co-written by Gene Quintano, and starring Emilio Estevez, Samuel L. Jackson, Kathy Ireland, Frank McRae, Tim Curry and William Shatner. The film mainly spoofs the first three Lethal Weapon films, as well as several others including Basic Instinct, Die Hard, Dirty Harry, Rambo, The Silence of the Lambs, Wayne's World, 48 Hrs. and TV series such as CHiPs. Loaded Weapon 1 was released on February 5, 1993.
Beverly Hills Cop II is a 1987 American buddy cop action comedy film directed by Tony Scott, written by Larry Ferguson and Warren Skaaren, and starring Eddie Murphy. It is the sequel to the 1984 film Beverly Hills Cop and the second installment in the Beverly Hills Cop film series. Murphy returns as Detroit police detective Axel Foley, who reunites with Beverly Hills detectives Billy Rosewood and John Taggart to stop a robbery/gun-running gang after Captain Andrew Bogomil is shot and seriously wounded.
Stray Dog is a 1949 Japanese film noir crime drama directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura. It was Kurosawa's second film of 1949 produced by the Film Art Association and released by Shintoho. It is also considered a detective movie that explores the mood of Japan during its painful postwar recovery. The film is also considered a precursor to the contemporary police procedural and buddy cop film genres, based on its premise of pairing two cops with different personalities and motivations together on a difficult case.
K-9 is a 1989 American buddy cop action comedy film starring Jim Belushi and Mel Harris. It was directed by Rod Daniel, written by Steven Siegel and Scott Myers, produced by Lawrence Gordon and Charles Gordon, and released by Universal Pictures.
The buddy film is a subgenre of adventure and comedy film in which two people are put together and are on an adventure, a quest, or a road trip. The two often contrast in personality, which creates a dynamic onscreen different from a pairing of two people of the opposite gender. The contrast is sometimes accentuated by an ethnic difference between the two. The buddy film is commonplace in American cinema; unlike some other film genres, it endured through the 20th century with different pairings and different themes.
Shane Black is an American filmmaker and actor who has written such films as Lethal Weapon, The Monster Squad, The Last Boy Scout, Last Action Hero, and The Long Kiss Goodnight. As an actor, Black is best known for his role as Rick Hawkins in Predator (1987).
Colors is a 1988 American police procedural action crime film starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall, and directed by Dennis Hopper. The film takes place in the gang ridden neighborhoods of Los Angeles: late-1980s South Central Los Angeles, Echo Park, Westlake and East Los Angeles. The film centers on Bob Hodges (Duvall), an experienced Los Angeles Police Department C.R.A.S.H. officer, and his rookie partner, Danny McGavin (Penn), who try to stop the gang violence between the Bloods, the Crips, and Hispanic street gangs. Colors relaunched Hopper as a director 19 years after Easy Rider, and inspired discussion over its depiction of gang life and gang violence.
Showtime is a 2002 American buddy cop action comedy film directed by Tom Dey. The film stars Robert De Niro and Eddie Murphy in the lead roles alongside Rene Russo, William Shatner, Pedro Damian and De Niro's real life daughter Drena De Niro. The film was released in the United States on March 15, 2002. The film received generally negative reviews, with critics lamenting its lackluster humour and poor attempt to satirize the buddy cop genre. It received two nominations at the 23rd Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo.
The Other Guys is a 2010 American buddy cop action comedy film directed by Adam McKay, who co-wrote it with Chris Henchy. It stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg with Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Ray Stevenson, Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson in supporting roles.
Dan Hennessey is a Canadian voice director and voice actor who, early on in his career, performed with a children's comedy troupe The Zoo Factory. That same year, in 1973, he played Claudius, King of Denmark in his first film, a Canadian adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet play.
The Hard Way is a 1991 American buddy cop action comedy film directed by John Badham, and starring Michael J. Fox and James Woods. Stephen Lang, Annabella Sciorra, Luis Guzmán, LL Cool J, Delroy Lindo, Christina Ricci, Mos Def, Kathy Najimy, Michael Badalucco, Lewis Black, and Penny Marshall appear in supporting roles.
The action comedy is a genre that combines aspects of action and comedy.
Thriller film, also known as suspense film or suspense thriller, is a broad film genre that evokes excitement and suspense in the audience. The suspense element found in most films' plots is particularly exploited by the filmmaker in this genre. Tension is created by delaying what the audience sees as inevitable, and is built through situations that are menacing or where escape seems impossible.
End of Watch is a 2012 American action thriller film written and directed by David Ayer. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala, two Los Angeles Police Department officers who work in South Central Los Angeles. The film focuses on their day-to-day police work, their dealings with a certain group of gang members, their friendship with each other, and their personal relationships.
In addition to being a masterful precursor to the buddy cop movies and police procedurals popular today, Stray Dog is also a complex genre film that examines the plight of soldiers returning home to post-war Japan.