What the hell is it doing with it Nick Fury in the arms of Deadpool? Probably, in front of the bizarre poster of Come ti ammazzo il bodyguard, the most shrewd eyes will have thought this. But then, leaving aside the nerdy thoughts, it is easy to notice a clear quote from one of the greatest catchphrases of the nineties, from that magical period of time in which the presence of Kevin Costner in a film was equivalent to a magical touch of King Midas. Just look more closely at that bluish poster and above all listen to the sweet voice of Whitney Houston that accompanies the trailer to grasp the not at all veiled parody of Body Guard, a 1994 film directed by Mick Jackson. Forget cheesy love stories and glossy movies, because How I’ll kill your bodyguard is a crazy two-person adventure featuring a bodyguard for hire (Ryan Reynolds). demoted after a client is murdered and forced to protect one of the world’s most wanted hit men, a man of more than a fiery temper (Samuel L. Jackson). Crazy, foul-mouthed and based on the impossible coexistence of two incompatible characters, the film by Patrick Hughes, already at the helm of The Expendables 3 – The Expendables, offers us the opportunity to retrace the ten craziest and most irreconcilable movie couplesforced to stay together by missions, work, blood ties.
As the legends taught us Laurel and Hardy and then Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, the couples made up of opposite characters have always had great comic potential, starting from the different physicality, and then leading to the clash between characters: the impetuous and the taciturn, the smart and the naive, the curmudgeon and the docile. This time, however, we will focus on the typical pairings from buddy movie, a sub-genre based on the relationship between opposite and complementary characters. We will enter noisy police cars, crazy missions and strange families. Balance and moderation were not invited.
The film that has not only discovered a face destined to mark a genre, but has also revealed a sound: the contagious laughter of Eddie Murphy. 48 hours, followed eight years later by 48 Hours Again, sees the New York comedian alongside the tough Nick Nolte. Two days with a high rate of gab, where a grumpy and traditionalist policeman is forced to collaborate with a criminal in order to arrest the other members of a gang. Between perplexities and opposing methods, Walter Hill plays with all kinds of stereotypes to give life to one of the most famous and verbose buddy movies ever.
We should have known that from that crazy leap from the roof of a building, or from the ease with which he put a gun in his mouth. He had already been the madman max in a dusty post apocalyptic adventure, then, here’s that spark of lucid madness in the eyes of the Martin Riggs. Maybe Mel Gibson really is a little crazy. We will always be grateful to him for giving us one of his most unforgettable characters thanks to the legendary saga of Lethal Weaponan eleven-year long raid, made memorable by the pairing with the exasperated Roger Murtaugh by Danny Glover. The rowdy splinter gone crazy and the quiet father of the family, the unpredictable and the methodical. The forced coexistence between these poles apart policemen, which then resulted in mutual esteem and affection, is marked by endless bickering, by volleys of words rather than bullets and by extreme situations that have entered the collective imagination of cinephiles (like forgetting the jump from toilet to bathtub?). We don’t stop worshiping them, because we’ll never be “too old for some bullshit”.
Here is the classic juxtaposition of two opposing comic figures starting from their appearance, characters who tell even without saying anything. Steve Martin is a stiff, icy successful publicist who just wants to go home for Thanksgiving. Too bad Mr. Destiny doesn’t agree at all, putting in his way both a series of unexpected events (missed taxis, storms, broken trains) and an unexpected travel companion, the talkative shower ring seller played by the late John Candy. One ticket for two is an unfortunate and troubled road trip in the company of two incompatible characters on paper, who will discover the weight of diversity within a classic parable of friendship.
One homicide, two witnesses. One does not see us, the other does not hear us. Both will be hunted down by a gang of criminals. The plot of don’t look at me is a simple pretext to stage the great talent of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor whose facial expressions and comic talent really seem to have come out of the most classic silent films. Despite the over the top entr’actes and the comic sequences that have become a small cult, the realism with which both actors really seem to recreate the movements of a blind and a deaf man is incredible. We recall the original title, which opens up more interesting interpretations than ours: See No Evil, Hear No Evil.
The self-deprecation of great action heroes is not a skill born with The Expendables. The tough guys of American action cinema knew how to laugh at themselves even in 1989. Replaced in the final part of the production precisely because he was against the too light fold desired by the production, Andrei Konchalovsky assembles an icon duo composed of Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell, or two agents esteemed and effective, so hated by the criminal world that they were framed and put in jail unjustly. Carefree buddy movie based on the bizarre coexistence between a rude and instinctive man (Russell’s “Gabe” Cash) and another more methodical and refined one (Stallone’s “Ray” Tango) Tango & Cash is a carefree digression into the American cinema of the eighties full of statuesque and irreproachable heroes.
An immediate and lightning comic inspiration. Just look at the poster Twins to burst out laughing. How can two guys so polar opposites be twins? The mighty Arnold Schwarzenegger and the decidedly less handsome Danny DeVito bring to life a brilliant and brilliantly written comedy, where two brothers discover each other’s existence after more than thirty years. On the one hand the naive and cultured Schwarzenegger, on the other the fraudulent De Vito, united by flashy clothes and an enviable alchemy. There are rumors of a possible sequel with Eddie Murphy as a third brother. Another glaring twin, right?
It was Jim Carrey himself who included it in his very personal “consecration trilogy”. Ace Ventura – Pet Detective, The Mask – From Zero to Legend e Dumb & Dumber. If the first two are fantastic solos, irrepressible one man show from which emerged the most rubbery and malleable comic mask of the nineties, Dumb & Dumber finds in Jeff Daniels a perfect comic sidekick for a concentration of pure idiocy. Peter Farrelly, who masterfully handles insanity, makes Carrey and Daniel two unrecoverable wretches, grappling with situations that continually cross any limit of the ridiculous. Too bad for the 2003 prequel and 2014 sequel that nobody felt the need for.
We are in the second half of the nineties. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully took the alien issue very seriously, making The X-Files one of the most important series in the history of TV. Instead, there are those who have decided to take things more lightly and to mock not only the UFO theme, but also an old urban legend very dear to lovers of conspiracy theories made in the USA. The chosen men in black are Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, two characters but above all two very divergent actors. The first explosive, chaotic, over the top (as well as singer of the famous musical single that depopulated in 1997), the second more restrained, posed and cryptic. Backed by a tachycardia and surprising special effects for the time, Barry Sonnenfeld’s film stages the classic clash between the expert and the newbie. A couple to which it is difficult not to become attached.
It’s not the time for “cops in grade school” anymore. The time has come to infiltrate the corridors of the high school. This is the strange mission of Schmidt and jenko, two old school friends who have now become police officers. Two big boys with a youthful appearance and character that they blend in wonderfully in a school where drug trafficking needs to be curbed. Based on the homonymous TV series aired between the eighties and nineties, 21 Jump Street it tunes into school stereotypes relying on Jonah Hill’s overweight nerd and Channing Tatum’s muscular bully, but above all resulting in the parody of the buddy movie itself. Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller confirms their irrepressible passion for coarse comedy and pop quotations.
Mix Lethal Weapon with a drop of Miami Vice (but with a little less glamor), add a pinch of bittersweet so dear to some buddy movies, and you have The Nice Guys. Explosive mix and surprise of last film season, Shane Black’s film is a comedy that never loses its edge and that inebriates the audience with heavy sips of ineptitude and often hilarious comedy sketches for their immediacy. Two detectives, forced to work together in the turbulent and chaotic Los Angeles from the seventies, they have the features of the imbolsito and pragmatic Russell Crowe and the clumsy Ryan Gosling. The alchemy between the forced seriousness of the Australian actor and the total inadequacy of his Canadian colleague is the confessable secret of a film with two protagonists who still have so much to say.