Before There Was a Deadly Weapon, There Was 48 Hours.

The “buddy cop” frame is one of the most beloved subgenres of action cinema. A movie about mismatched detectives trying to solve a case offers the perfect opportunity to mix laughter and suspense. They’re a great vehicle for showing the two actors’ on-screen chemistry, and the premise is simple enough for every filmmaker to take a new look at it (though not always). When a buddy cop clone is traced back to its origins, Richard Donner Deadly Weapons usually named the first one.

Starring Mel Gibson as a young rebel cop and Danny Glover as the soon-to-be retired veteran detective who reluctantly cooperates with him, Deadly Weapons is a quintessential buddy cop movie that has laid a lot of groundwork for the younger generation. But five years before that, Walter Hill’s 48 hours defines most of the tropes.


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Released in 1982 to critical acclaim and huge box office success, 48 hours tells the story of a gray-haired cop who reluctantly lets a petty thief out of prison to help him catch his former criminal partner. As the title would suggest, they have two days to catch the bad guys. Fast-paced, economic storytelling and A great mix of high octane action and hilarious pranks, 48 hours became a hit with audiences and eventually a genre of its own.

Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy stood against the wall looking suspicious for 48 hours

Hill is one of the most famous action directors of all time. “Buddy cop” is just one of many action sub-branches he has identified with an incredibly impactful, untouchable classic. Hard time is the ultimate fighting movie, Driver is the ultimate car chase movie, and The Warriors is the ultimate incest gang war movie. And 48 hours, released after all those gems, is the ultimate buddy cop movie.

In this case, Deadly Weapons like John Carpenter’s 1978 Horror Masterpiece Halloween. Halloween similarity is labeled as the earliest example of a sub-branch that has been around for several years. To many years later Mental, Black Christmas, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween hardly a first killer, but it’s the stereotype that horror filmmakers turn to when they make their own.

Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy talking in the hallway after 48 hours

Although recent stories about close friends like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier forgot about this, the point of these stories is the conflict between the main characters. The action-packed police investigation is only an external conflict; The reality of the story is that the odd couple of two opposing lawyers gradually become friends.

Two of the most overused clichés in this dynamic are to give the two characters different races and include a generation gap in their ages. 48 hours created these jokes and Deadly Weapons adhere to both. In the 80s, this was a new (even second) concept, but it was taken to death.

Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy stood against the wall for 48 hours

The key to transmission a close friend police duo is finding actors who not only share the same convincing chemistry as emotionally free friends, but also perfectly portray their roles. 48 hours succeeds on both counts with Nick Nolte as grumpy veteran detective Jack Cates and Eddie Murphy as street smart motormouth Reggie Hammond.

Play Reggie in 48 hours marked Murphy’s film debut while he was still an actor steals scenes at Saturday night live. Murphy not only kept his opposite Nolte, who had appeared in films for a decade at the time; he stole the entire movie, with Nolte playing the “straight man”.

Nick Nolte stood above Eddie Murphy for 48 hours

Technically, 48 hours not a “buddy cop” movie at all, because only one of them is a cop. But not all buddy cop movies are about cops. In fact, some of the best articles in this category have nothing to do with the police: Break point is about an FBI agent and a surfer; Nice boys is about two competing private investigators; Man in black is about a secret government agency Defend the Earth from alien invaders.

The premise of 48 hours order mold for Midnight trip, which features Robert De Niro as a bounty hunter and Charles Grodin as a wanted mob accountant. After De Niro’s efforts to keep his latest bounty out of the hands of the federal, mafia, and rival bounty hunters before he can collect, Midnight trip basically Planes, Trains and Cars with guns.

Literally, 48 hours and Midnight trip It’s not a “buddy cop” movie, because best friends aren’t cops (or neither are they). But, if there is, 48 hours formula more effective in fostering conflict in the story of a buddy cop. A policeman and a criminal are not inherently more alike than two policemen. The problem with some of the buddy cop stories is the main characters are simply not different enough: Both are good people, both are law enforcers, both have the exact same goal in a given case.

The killer kept Eddie Murphy with a gun for 48 hours

Technically, 48 hours predated a few other buddy cop movies. 1974 Freebie and the Bean stars James Caan and Alan Arkin as two quirky detectives who rampage across San Francisco to take down a gang boss. This movie has a much darker sense of humor than the commercially viable ’80s commercial cop movies. 1976 Enforcement agencies stars Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” Callahan with an innocent, bright-eyed rookie played by Tyne Daly. It has a few moments of deadly humor (including one in which Eastwood casually participates in a porn scene), but is a Dirty Harry movie, it’s much worse average buddy cop action person.

In terms of buddy cop history, Freebie and the Bean and Enforcement agencies like the gruesome Italian killers that came before Halloween. They are a much-needed breakthrough in the genre, but don’t make it into the mainstream. Their successor 48 hours and its own successor Deadly Weapons are Timeless classic action deftly blends visceral thrills with adorable playful banter.

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