Helmed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller in their live-action directorial debut, buddy cop action comedy film ’21 Jump Street’ packs uncontrollable laughter and proves to be a highly potent genre foray. The movie is a reboot of the late 80s television show of the same name, which launched the career of Johnny Depp. High school friends Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) become police officers.
At the titular police facility, their superior assigns them to identify and bust a synthetic drug cartel. The only catch is that they have to go undercover in their old school and, in the process, they get another shot at redemption following their traumatic high-school years. If you have loved the recipe, we have some recommendations in mind. You can find most of these movies similar to ’21 Jump Street’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. White Chicks (2004)
Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans, boisterous buddy cop venture ‘White Chicks’ is not a brilliant movie in the conventional sense. In fact, at times, the film is so outrageous that you will bleed your eyes. The story follows two black male FBI agents, Kevin and Marcus, who go undercover as white socialite sisters Brittany and Tiffany to solve a string of kidnappings. Brothers Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans deliver seamless chemistry in their drag performance.
The critics bashed the movie during the time of its release. It gracefully received five Golden Raspberry Awards nominations for Worst Picture, Worst Actress, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple. If you are still willing to take the leap, it would be imperative to know that the movie has come to be regarded as a cult classic in the genre in the later years. If you are looking for another undercover cop venture following ’21 Jump Street,’ this will be one of your best bets.
6. Rush Hour (1998)
Brett Ratner’s martial-arts buddy-cop movie ‘Rush Hour’ is a film packed with wall-to-wall action, and it evokes some unmistakable giggles while at it. Hong Kong detective Lee must make a journey across the world to LA to retrieve the young daughter of a Chinese consul. He makes an unlikely team with excited LA cop Carter, and their journey is fraught with minor hiccups and dangerous perils.
Following the box-office success of the original movie, the franchise spawned two spin-offs, all of which have been firmly ingrained in the popular culture. Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker deliver swaying performances to portray near-perfect buddy-cop chemistry. If you have found ’21 Jump Street’ to be playing it a little safe, this classic movie franchise upends many genre conventions.
5. Shanghai Noon (2000)
With 2000’s ‘Shanghai Noon,’ director Tom Dey seemingly achieves the near-impossible – a perfect blend of martial arts and western movies. Imperial guard Chon Wang travels to the Wild Americana to look for a princess. He teams up with goofy and annoying wagon breaker Roy O’Bannon by promising him some money.
The result is a high-voltage action drama with a partnership rarely seen on screen. There are no police here like ’21 Jump Street,’ but if it finally boils down to a dashing partnership with quirky comedy, it cannot get better than the Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson starrer.
4. The Hard Way (1991)
Helmed by John Badham, ‘The Hard Way’ is a buddy cop action-comedy movie that packs quite a hysterical punch with its witty and memorable script. The story revolves around Nick Lang, a Hollywood action hero desperate to land a new role in a cop show. He cuts a deal with NYPD Captain Brix to learn the procedure and mannerisms of the police, and coincidentally, Captain Brix turns out to be a fan.
Brix connects him to Lt. John Moss, who has to cope with Nick’s constant pestering while tracking down a serial killer. Although the formula is pretty standard, the movie stands out of the crowd through its compelling screenplay and effortless chemistry between its lead pair, James Wood and Michael J. Fox. If you have liked the hard-boiled comic energy of ’21 Jump Street,’ this movie deserves your attention.
3. Hot Fuzz (2007)
Edgar Wright’s ‘Hot Fuzz’ is a decidedly conscious buddy cop comedy that takes inspiration from its many genre predecessors. In a fairly standard plot, the movie follows two police officers who investigate a series of gruesome murders in the sparsely populated West Country village. But with electrifying humor and top-notch action sequences, the film almost ends up parodying previous genre tropes.
However, it does not fail to create an identity of its own. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s buddy cop chemistry will remind you of ’21 Jump Street,’ and if you want to see another truthful reincarnation of the genre following ’21 Jump Street,’ this is a cult classic that you have to devour.
2. The Nice Guys (2016)
With Shane Black at the director’s chair, ‘The Nice Guys’ is a sprawling buddy cop action comedy with a bohemian touch. Seeing Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling together in a buddy cop venture may have been your distant dream, but some dreams do come true. Holland March, a private snoop, is out of his luck in 70s Los Angeles. Jackson Healy is a ruthless enforcer with a license to kill. With the mysterious disappearance of a girl named Amelia, March and Healy make an unlikely tag team.
They come to know that some gruesome criminals also want to locate the girl. The movie brings back the classic trope of a bygone era. Coupled with an energetic performance, noir-tinted cinematography, and a retro score, the movie’s formula is one you can’t resist. This movie will fill up the counter if you have found ’21 Jump Street’ low on action.
1. Midnight Run (1988)
Martin Brest, the acclaimed director of ‘Going in Style’ and ‘Scent of a Woman,’ is also known for his hilarious buddy cop movie ‘Midnight Run.’ Eddie Moscone hires cop-turned-bounty hunter Jack Walsh to hunt down a shady accountant who goes by the name of The Duke. The job description is pretty simple, but that is until everyone wants a piece of The Duke.
Jack is compelled to go a cross-country cat-and-mouse chase while evading the authorities and surviving the strange aura of The Duke. Robert De Niro delivers a riotously paranoid performance against an uber-confident Charles Grodin, perfecting the buddy cop formula to the stature of a classic. If you have loved the buddy cop chemistry of ’21 Jump Street,’ you must check out this lasting example of the genre.
Read More: Where Was 21 Jump Street Filmed?