Not all detective movies have to be dramas. In many cases, crime can be a catalyst for comedy, with themes of drugs and violence being easily manipulated into black humour. Due to most investigations requiring two detectives, it’s also the perfect opportunity for the buddy genre to blossom. As a guide to some of the best cop movies out there, here’s a list of six cop comedies for you to check out.
The Best Cop Comedy Movies
6. The Other Guys (2010)
Comedy legend Will Ferrell leads alongside Mark Wahlberg as two desk-bound detectives who dream of making it to the field. When the opportunity finally arises to prove themselves capable, a series of hilarious mishaps ensue due to the simple reason they are, in fact, not capable.
The clashing personalities of naively mild-mannered Allen Gamble (Ferrell) and hot-head Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg) allow for a non-stop reel of crude humour from visual gags to subtle one-liners. But one thing that they do have in common is this: they’re both losers who, deep down, need each other.
5. Rush Hour (1998)
If action is what you’re after, Rush Hour is the one for you. Jackie Chan kung-fus his way through impeccably timed gags, alongside fast-talking Chris Tucker who’s assigned to watch over him as a new LAPD recruit.
Whether whizzing their way through fight scenes or witty dialogue, the two never fail to entertain as they attempt to rescue the Chinese consul’s kidnapped daughter. The positive reception Rush Hour received granted two more sequels — surprisingly as good as the first.
4. Lethal Weapon (1987)
Mel Gibson and Danny Glover star in this classic 80s action movie, where two clashing officers are tasked with uncovering a drug-trafficking ring. Martin Riggs (Gibson) is rebellious and suicidal after the death of his wife, while Roger Murtaugh is of the sensible older generation.
Despite their comedy-fuelling conflict, the two form an iconic friendship that led to three more sequels. The fast-paced thrills never stop, defining an era of action-packed buddy movies for years to come.
As two undercover cops forced to relive their high-school years, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum made waves with audiences on 21 Jump Street’s release. Hill plays the nerdy Schmidt dreading his return to school in an undercover drugs-bust. On the other hand, pretty boy Jenko (Tatum) can’t wait.
What may appear as another formulaic teen comedy is in fact a laugh-out-loud bromance with a lot of heart. The now iconic scenes, celebrity cameos and plot-twists give 21 Jump Street a deserved spot in our top three.
2. The Nice Guys (2016)
The Nice Guys is a black comedy with razor sharp wit and dazzling personality. Ryan Gosling displays an unexpected knack for humour, both with physical gags and natural comedic timing. Russell Crowe manages to balance his brooding character with humour; the two actors brimming with chemistry.
The story itself follows two amateur detectives, clumsily searching for the missing pornstar Misty Mountains. The Nice Guys is a somewhat under-appreciated gem of recent cinema; reckless, eccentric and above all, cleverly written while poking fun at the 70s lifestyle of LA glamour.
1. Hot Fuzz (2007)
The only British action-comedy on the list also happens to take top spot. Renowned duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost impress again with their witty-cop spoof set in the small English village of Sandford.
Nicholas Angel (Pegg) tries to adjust to his demotion from a London constable, but his oafish sidekick makes matters difficult. But when Angel discovers a secret cult, there’s no one else for him to trust. Established auteur Edgar Wright flexes his creativity in what fans of Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End are assured to love just as much.