Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lethal Weapon: Father of Garbage

Who doesn't love Lethal Weapon? Mel Gibson and Danny Glover team up to kick in Gary Busey's mutant teeth. There's car chases, explosions, and nudity. Everything a growing boy needs. But Mike Lippert's super-list isn't about praising the originals, it's about blaming them for the shit that followed their fame. For every Halloween, there's a hundred cheap knockoffs trying to ride its coattails. Lethal Weapon is no exception. Often honored as ultimate Buddy Cop movie, Richard Donner's 1987 action classic inspired a lot of garbage. Here's a look at said trash.

The truly amazing thing about the Buddy Cop gene is its diversity. Cowboy movies usually consisted of white cowboys teaming up with other white cowboys, with the occasional Indian or female exception. But for the most part, the duos looked pretty similar to one another. These movies, however, have ran the gamete on cop combos.

Your more simple pairings have black cops teaming up with white cops. There's white cops teaming up with asian cops. Black cops and asian cops. What about a Russian cop that's forced to work with an American cop? Well, Racial differences are nothing compared to the variations coming up.

Throw age into the mix. Young white cop and old asian cop. Old white cop (who's also an expert in asian culture) and a black cop (who's not). Two old white cops, one of whom might be a cop killer (I'm suspecting amnesia has something to do with it).

Sometimes are there extenuating circumstances surrounding the officers. What if the cops were also reality TV stars? What if they were actually security guards? How about a black cop and a white cop who're also brothers? The possibilities are limitless. A young white cop teams up with a sassy black cab driver? Ooh! I'm getting excited now. How about a straight-laced cop is forced to team up with a rough-around-the edges cop? Think The Odd Couple meets Lethal Weapon!

Their partners don't even have to be human. Dog cops, dinosaur cops, alien cops. And if their partners don't have to be human, you better believe they don't have to fight humans either. Human cops vs. aliens. Alien cops vs. alien baddies. There's even a movie where they fight zombies with a passion for armed robbery.

And last, there are the Buddy Cop movies where half of the duo aren't! even! cops! Why team up with a trained police officer when you can fight crime with bratty little kids (a.k.a. your worse nightmare, a.k.a. a nine-year-old with a badge) or sassy taxi drivers (a.k.a. my dream lady, a.k.a Queen Latifah)?

So, let's all thank Lethal Weapon for Showdown in Little Tokyo, Showtime, Tango & Cash, Dead Heat, Rising Sun, Red Heat, Bulletproof, Theodore Rex, Collision Course, Cop and a Half, Money Train, Turner and Hooch, Taxi, Cradle 2 the Grave, K-9, Alien Nation, National Security, Hollywood Shuffle, The Glimmer Man, Righteous Kill, and the hundreds of other Buddy Cop movies that came after it.


Univarn said...

Of course we could also blame Glover for the 4,000,000,000,000 times "I'm getting too old for this s***" has been copied/repeated since his awesomeness here.

Angie said...

hahaha brilliant. Sometimes I love this genre, sometimes I can't stand it. We recently did a whole podcast episode about it.

MC said...

Hot Fuzz was worth the garbage.

dw said...

my favorite of the genre is the hidden. alien cop teams up with bad-ass human cop that doesn't turn out to be so bad-ass when he realizes they're going after a rogue alien.

Philip Genochio said...

greetings from the U of K. i think fans of buddy cop movies this side of the pond would want to give Hot Fuzz a mention at this point in time.