Best & Worst: Buddy-Cop Movies

Best: Dead Heat (1988)

Just to be perfectly clear, we’re aware that this is an utterly preposterous portion of ‘80s trash. However, anyone who doesn’t think the premise of a human/zombie police pairing isn’t the dictionary definition of awesomeness is clearly missing a soul. Much like a zombie, in fact!

Boasting lashings of gore, some top trash-talk and Vincent Price as a baddie with a fiendish plot to create a production line of zombie gangsters, Dead Heat is the ultimate guilty pleasure of buddy-cop movies. As the poster says, “you can’t keep a good cop dead.” Amen to that.

Worst: National Security (2003)

Here he is…Martin Lawrence wasn’t going to get away with an entry on the Best list without a nod to National Security , possibly the worst film he’s ever been involved with. And yes, that does include Big Momma’s House .

Lawro plays loudmouth wannabe cop Earl, who got chucked out of the academy for, you guessed it, being a loudmouth. Now a security guard, he ends up teaming with Steve Zahn, the officer he got chucked off the force after falsely accusing him of a racist beatdown. Sounding funny yet? No, thought not. Give it a wide, wide berth.

Best: Hot Fuzz (2007)

Having conquered the rom-zom-com with Shaun Of The Dead , Edgar Wright turns his hand to the cop movie with pleasingly knowing results. It’s certainly not perfect by any means, with a slightly weighty running time, and a plot that sags slightly towards its denouement.

However, in terms of OTT buddy-cop fun, it’s hard to beat. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost can do this sort of whip-smart banter in their sleep, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable, whilst the action sequences are deliriously kick-ass as well, the gleeful shootout in the village supermarket being a particular highlight.

Worst: Showtime (2002)

A cop-comedy featuring Eddie Murphy and Robert De Niro at the tail-end of their careers could be expected to be many things, but who knew it could be so boring?

The two A-listers shamelessly phone this one in, retreading the grizzled tough-guy and streetwise show-off roles they’ve played a thousand times before. Still, it’s tough to blame them when the cop-show spoofery they’ve got to work with is this lame. When even a William Shatner cameo fails to raise a smile, you know you’re in trouble.

George Wales

George was once GamesRadar's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it. But now he's working at Stylist Magazine.