I’ll start this by saying that I love buddy comedies. When a film offers a good dynamic between its two male leads, I’m game. I am even willing to look past many issues found in this sub-genre. Take Men in Black 2 as an example, it wasn’t a particularly great sequel yet I very much enjoyed the film thanks to the great chemistry between Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith.
Now in theaters we have another buddy comedy, 21 Jump Street, and from the looks of things, it’s definitely going into my personal collection. Then there’s Men in Black 3 in little over 2 months, so this is the perfect time to take a look at the top 10 highest grossing buddy comedies in North America, ever.
10. The Other Guys (2010) $119.2 million – When it comes to buddy cop comedies we are used to seeing the awesome duo that solves crimes while blowing up half the city with little in the way of consequences. But then there are The Other Guys, you know, the ones sitting behind the desk, doing what is in reality a very big part of the job. While this might sound boring at first, it’s not. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg work great together and The Other Guys soon turns into a great action flick that you should definitely catch with a buddy.
9. Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) $130.4 million – Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, man I loved those guys. Hell, I even had a Lethal Weapon marathon with a few friends many years ago. Anyway, this was the last entry in the series and I’m happy to say that it most certainly delivered. So watch this, though I recommend taking them in order starting with the first one.
8. Bad Boys 2 (2003) $138.6 million – Coming from the king of blowing stuff up (Michael Bay), this entertaining sequel delivers on just about everything from the action to the buddy dynamics between Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Some might call this the new Lethal Weapon but I wouldn’t go that far. I say if you don’t have time for a Lethal Weapon marathon, you can’t go wrong with a Bad Boys one. But keep in mind, Bad Boys 2 can drag at certain points and clocking at about 2 hours and 20 minutes, so make sure you have enough popcorn.
7. Rush Hour 3 (2007) $140.1 million – I did not like this film all that much when it came out. Sadly Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, while still funny, were not as good together this time around. Maybe it’s just me or maybe things got old.
6. Rush Hour (1998) $141.1 million – Now this I loved. It was fresh, it was funny, and the chemistry between Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan was top notch. As far as buddy comedies go, this is in my personal top 5 so definitely check it out if you haven’t already (which I seriously doubt at this point, I mean it’s freaking Rush Hour).
5. Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) $144.7 million – I most certainly wasn’t the right age when I first caught this on TV. But then again, I was like 5 when I saw Predator so props to my parents for being so cool. Lethal Weapon 3 was maybe not as lethal as the two before but it still provided more than enough laughs and action.
4. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) $147.2 million – Fans seem to be split here, some like this one better, some like the original. Since I saw them much later for the first time, back-to-back, I tend to remember them more as one film than two. I love how the first introduced us to the characters of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover but I think I enjoyed Lethal Weapon 2 a bit more. This was also the one that introduced Joe Pesci’s character and who didn’t like Leo Getz.
3. Men in Black 2 (2002) $190.4 million – It feels like yesterday I saw this in theaters yet almost 10 years have passed. I was a big fan of Men in Black, couldn’t wait for Men in Black 2, and when I finally watched the film, I must say it was a lot of fun. Sure, it can’t hold a candle to the awesome original that you will find higher on this list, but Men in Black 2 was a blast. Props to Frank for stealing every scene he was in.
2. Rush Hour 2 (2001) $226.1 million – As you can see, this is one of the rare cases where the sequel greatly improved on the box office success of the original. In terms of quality, Rush Hour 2 was entertaining but not as much as Rush Hour. Either way you should see this.
1. Men in Black (1997) $250.6 million – Surprisingly enough, this 15 years old sci-fi buddy comedy based on a short-lived comic book series, is still number 1. Here we meet for the first time Kay and Jay, played by Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. The Men in Black are a secret organization whose sole purpose is to monitor and suppress alien activity on Earth. As mentioned in the intro, Men in Black 3 is due for a May 25th release date in North America and around the world so for me personally, a Men in Black marathon is on the horizon
As expected with this sort of lists, the best of the best are not necessarily among the most popular films. Hot Fuzz (2007), one of my favorite buddy comedies, is one such film. I simply lack the words to explain to you just how awesome Hot Fuzz is. Seriously, you owe it to yourself (and your friends) to watch Hot Fuzz. Then for the Jackie Chan fans out there we have Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights. The Rundown is also a very fun flick starring the Rock and Stiffler while 48 Hrs. I already mentioned in the past, starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte. There are more but these are just a few on my mind right now.
So what’s your favorite buddy comedy?