Rush Hour vs Bad Boys: what’s the best buddy cop flick – Face Off

Ah, the buddy cop action sub-genre. No other type of movie is more manly and more action-packed, at least outside of an Arnold Schwarzenegger flick. In the 80s, the genre was kicked off with hit movies like 48 Hrs. starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte along with Richard Donner’s Lethal Weapon led by Danny Glover and Mel Gibson. As soon as the mid-90s rolled in, a couple of franchises sent the buddy cop genre straight into the damn stratosphere!

In 1995, after directing music videos for a number of years, Michael Bay made the big leap to the silver screen with his directorial debut, Bad Boys, starring comedian Martin Lawrence, who was riding high off his TV sitcom Martin, and who better to team him up with than the man, the myth, the legend — Will Smith. The future megastar was coming off his impressive music career as well as headlining the best damn show of the 90s with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Bad Boys would prove to be a massive success — establishing Michael Bay as a household name, propelling Martin Lawrence into more hit comedies, and launching Will Smith as the summer blockbuster star for years to come. The film spawned two stellar sequels — Bad Boys 2 and Bad Boys For Life — with the fourth Bad Boys movie in pre-production currently. Wait a minute… how could you not call the fourth movie Bad Boys 4 Life? Man, it’s another case of the Rambo movie name curse…

In 1998, East meets West in another buddy cop box office gangbuster. After a few failed attempts in the 80s to make a name for himself in America with movies like The Cannonball Run and The Protector, Jackie Chan finally struck big with Rumble In The Bronx, making his long overdue splash in Hollywood which led to his FIRST major studio blockbuster with Brett Ratner‘s Rush Hour. Chan starred opposite the hilarious Chris Tucker who found his stride with the buddy stoner comedy Friday. The movie cemented Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker as household names and resulted in two worthy sequels. And if you ask us, Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker should bring it back one more time. You can even call it Rush Hour 4 Life! But today, we’re going to pit buddy cops against buddy cops to see which are the top cops. Let’s find out on… FACE OFF!

This episode of Face Off is written by Jay Saint G, narrated by Shawn Knippelberg, and edited by Stephen White. But don’t let us have the final word — tell us in the comments which buddy cop action flick is your pick — Rush Hour or Bad Boys?

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.