22 Jump Street is set to have cinemas roaring with laughter at Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s unlikely duo. We take a look at some of the greatest friendships in cinema.
Woody and Buzz, Toy Story When you’ve got an entire song written by Randy Newman about your friendship, it doesn’t matter if you’re made of plastic or not. You know the story behind Toy Story; a narcissistic cowboy doll, Woody, has his status as favourite toy threatened by the arrival of spaceman action figure Buzz Lightyear. Woody must go after Buzz when he goes missing - after he accidentally knocks Lightyear out of the window - and bring him back home. Admittedly, their friendship takes a while to get off the ground, as Woody’s jealousy and Buzz’s delusion (he believes he’s a real astronaut) make a surprisingly complex relationship for children’s film, but at its heart is two people (well, action figures) searching for their place in a large, frightening world. That link is explored further in the sequels, with the plot neatly reversed in Toy Story 2 by having Buzz rescue Woody, while in Toy Story 3 they must work together to break free.
Schmidt and Jenko, Jump Street The first instalment in the Jump Street franchise, released in 2012, set the bar incredibly high for modern comedy, and at the core of its success was the unexpected comic pairing of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as unlikely buddies Schmidt and Jenko. Hill was always a go-to pick for the movie, having made the audience crack up already with his hilarious turn in Superbad – plus, an Oscar nomination for Moneyball under his belt couldn’t have done any harm; Tatum was the wildcard, stepping up to the challenge with zero comedy experience. But it paid off brilliantly: together as undercover cops posing as high school students, they formed a yin-yang of perfect awkwardness, playing off their differences to side-splitting results while also bringing down a drug ring at the school. With 22 Jump Street proving to be even funnier than the first film, the Hall of Classic Comedy Duos is calling; but the thing that makes them so great is their love for each other.
Detective Lee and Detective Carter, Rush Hour With two sequels, the Rush Hour series certainly shows that its central pairing of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker has staying power. But 1998’s original is the one that started it all; when Detective Lee (Chan) moves to the USA from Hong Kong, it’s up to Carter (Chris Tucker) to keep him out of trouble – until Lee’s daughter is kidnapped. Chan’s straight-man demeanour frequently clashes with Tucker’s fast-mouthed arrogance in a world-class example of two worlds colliding, bringing a freshness to the buddy cop genre that had grown stale after the popularity of Lethal Weapon had seen countless attempts to kindle a similar kind of chemistry between their leads. There’s now a fourth Rush Hour in the works, and while both Chan and Tucker might be getting on, we know they’ll bring the same back-chatting charm that made Rush Hour a firm favourite.
Marty McFly and Doctor Emmett Brown, Back to the Future Clearly, age doesn’t get in the way of friendship, especially when it comes to the unlikely combination of street-smart teen Marty McFly and the kooky Doctor Emmett Brown. Their time-travelling adventures have seen them zip between past and future, making 1985’s Back to the Future (and its two fantastic sequels) a beloved slice of pop culture along the way. Beside its decade-hopping DeLoreans and flux capacitors, the reason Back to the Future works is McFly’s and Doc Brown’s mismatched pairing; think of the crazy-haired Doc as the brain that thinks up all the time-warping trouble, and of poor McFly as the hands that have to clear it all up. It’s unclear how they became friends in the first place – perhaps McFly wanted to explore the strange noises coming from that kook doctor’s house? But one thing’s for certain: together, they can make a fine mess of the space-time continuum.
Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction Pulp Fiction has a glut of memorable characters: Bruce Willis as an ageing boxer; Uma Thurman as a femme fatale; Christopher Walken cameoing as a po-faced US Army captain. But Quentin Tarantino’s opus is still as entertaining today as it was 20 years ago in the main because of Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield, played to perfection by John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson. The film opens with them having a heated debate about cheeseburgers, right before they carry out a hit on some young punks who owe money. Despite the bloodshed, Vincent and Jules’ bickering is at the heart of what makes Pulp Fiction so rewatchable. Harvey Weinstein, the film’s producer, didn’t want Travolta, then a has-been, as Vincent; Tarantino fought for him.