Home » Everything Else » Making an un-cliched Buddy Cop film

Making an un-cliched Buddy Cop film

It’s impossible.

I’m currently in the process of writing a 13-minute buddy cop genre mashup that includes film noir and pirate movies. I’m trying to make it as original as possible, but I’ve found that buddy cop films are one of the worst genres to attempt “original” with. They were immensely popular during the 80s and 90s, and they’ve since been through countless iterations — they became more jokey, more self-referential, and started playing around with the genre by creating  the science fiction version, the extreme sports version, the explosions version, and many, many homages. There was even one about buddy cop germs living inside Bill Murray.

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Bill Murray is so awesome, just one of his cells can headline a film.

Eventually the market was over-saturated, and they stopped. But the genre damage was done: The genre is entirely self-aware at this point. Ever wink and nod to past tropes of the genres counts as part of the same genre! It’s no longer possible to create a buddy cop film that breaks out of the buddy cop mould. Even reversing the genders of the main characters — a clever spin given the incredibly formulaic genre’s emphasis on ‘manly’ action — isn’t enough, as The Heat forgettably proves.

 To make my film a little more original, the best course of action is to make it more farcical: I’m considering making the villains the entire police department.
Putting in Will Ferrell also saves a buddy cop film.

Putting in Will Ferrell also saves a buddy cop film.

Not just the Chief of Police is secretly evil, but the femme fatale turns out to be the Commissioner. The entire department came up with a threat — drug smugglers — in order to keep getting government funding. Then, they partnered up our heroes in order to make sure that the two most incompetent detectives sabotaged themselves with their wacky differences. Throughout the film, everyone they talk to turns out to be helping the police officers.
People will be thinking they know who the villain is, but then it turns out to be literally everyone! Even this twist isn’t super original — it’s kinda similar to Hot Fuzz — but I think it’s a decent framework to support the film’s main point: countless puns about pirates and film noir.
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