More than a few classic film duos come to mind when examining the buddy-film genre, and to celebrate Lions Gate’s upcoming Feb. 5 release of From Paris With Love, starring John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, we’ve put together a list of the Top Ten Most Badass Duos on film. These partners did more than get the job done – they did it with style, and made Hollywood history in the process. Check ‘em out!
Riggs and Murtaugh - Lethal Weapon
Action buddy comedies were honed to a fine science in the late ’80s, and Riggs & Murtaugh were among the most adored – and successful.The love-hate relationship between family man Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and nothing-to-lose wisecracking loose cannon Riggs (Mel Gibson) was comic gold. While the two characters couldn’t be less compatible with each other, Gibson and Glover play off each other like Abbott & Costello mixed with the Three Stooges. It’s pure cop-flick gold – three successful sequels don’t lie.
Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield – Pulp Fiction
Two hitmen that spend pass their time arguing the finer points of religion foot massages – between killings, of course. Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield are by far the coolest and classiest assassins in recent film history, quoting Ezequiel 25:17 before blasting the hell out of everyone in the room one minute and saving overdosed kingpin wives by stabbing them with giant adrenaline shots the next. Spawning more one-liners than Austin Powers and The Breakfast Club combined, these Vincent & Jules were a living evolution of Tarantino’s cool-guy obsession in Reservoir Dogs.
Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie – Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Two professional spy-assassins, married to each other but unaware of the other’s profession, are pitted against each other by their organization. After discovering the other’s identity the two tear their house – and each other – apart before the sexual heat goes through the roof. The hottest husband and wife tag-team in film history became the most famous celebrity couple in history, and the tabloids have never quite been the same.
Woody Harrelson & Juliette Lewis – Natural Born Killers
Never has there been a more sadistically lovable duo than Mickey and Malorie Knox from Natural Born Killers. A deeply dark satire on American vulture sensationalism unintentionally became a troubling foretelling of celebrity culture in our country, and the world would never look at Woody Harrelson as the hapless idiot bar-boy on "Cheers" after this.
Sean Connery & Harrison Ford – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Sure, Connery was only in one out of the entire Indiana Jones series, but Henry Jones Sr. played perhaps the single most integral role in the entire franchise beyond Indy himself. The ever-critical father figure fills Indy’s internal-fire backstory and delivers a chemistry between Connery and Ford that can’t be faked. Playful, competitive and endlessly exasperated by one another, this father and son duo save the Holy Grail from the clutches of the Nazis and made one of the best films of the late ’80s .
Evey & V – V For Vendetta
The Wachowskis’ dark, politically-soaked thriller centers on a corruption-assassin named "V" who wears the mask of Guy Fawkes, the man who many years ago famously attempted to blow up the House of Parliament on the fifth of November. Spouting elegant prose and killing with brutal grace, V spawned the image of a vigilante hero who stands up to society’s most powerful and the corrupt elite. the sociopolitical parallels are jarring, given the Orwellian spin on our modern-day security and surveillance technologies.
If it weren’t for 48 Hours, an entire generation of cop-buddy movies inthe 80’s and early 90’s would likely never have existed. Nick Nolte’s Jack Cates was a gritty, chain-smoking revenge-seeking detective on the hunt for a cop killer. Fast-talking con-man Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) becomes his wingman in crime, and the result was equal parts explosively funny and dangerous.
Susan Sarandon & Geena Davis – Thelma & Louise
Easily one of the most recognizable films of the ’90s: A weekend getaway becomes a cross-country hellride with the law on their heels and murder on their hands. With an unbreakable loyalty to one another and a sudden taste for the wild life, Thelma & Louise ride their fateful path with chins high and cares in the wind, acting out the fantasies of countless women dreaming of what life may lie beyond their own boundaries.
Robert Redford & Paul Newman – The Sting
Redford and Newman epitomize golden-era movie stardom here and in Butch Cassidy And The The Sundance Kid, playing off of each other like old friends while playing the other up just right. This classic caper movie set in 1936 in Chicago centers on con artists out to avenge the murder of a mutual friend, only to find themselves in a high-stakes game against a mob kingpin. Fierce and compelling, Redford and Newman set the bar for what buddy films should be.
Arnold & Danny DeVito – Twins
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny De Vito are twin brothers who couldn’t have less in common. Schwarzenegger is a mild-mannered, bookish type who grew up with philosophers in a south seas island, while De Vito is a conniving troublemaker who grew up in an orphanage and is about to be killed by loan sharks. They find one another as adults, and discover that brotherhood is more what you make of it than anything having to do with genetic connection. Cheesy and ridiculous, but a hell of a lot of fun.