Team HCC picks the very best boys in blue. And robots. And dogs...
Welcome to the second part in out roundup of the 25 Greatest Movie Cops of all time. Missed Part I? Click here...
A British policeman so good at his job that he's banished from his London stomping ground and sent to a middle-of-nowhere town so his colleagues can get some of the limelight, Nicholas Angel's love of Hollywood cop movies (including Point Break and Bad Boys II) means he'll do whatever it takes to bring criminals to justice – even if that requires destroying much of the quiet town of Sandford in the process. A superbly original creation bought to life by actor Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright in the 2007 comedy smash.
Get the disc: Universal's UK Blu-ray release is chocked full of extras and blockbuster-grade sonics
The most famous of all 'foul-mouthed' cops, Axel Foley provides the perfect vehicle for Eddie Murphy's comedic talents. A Detroit detective who spends as much time doing impersonations as firing guns, with an intuitive approach to law enforcement that frequently results in multi-car pile ups, Foley is just what's needed in the stuffy world of the Beverly Hills police department, bringing down the high-society crooks his West Coast counterparts are too stupid to cotton on to. The first two entries in the franchise are genre classics, the third is hideous. Can the imminent TV series spin-off restore Foley's reputation?
Get the disc: The 1984 original was released by Paramount on UK Blu-ray at the end of 2011 – you'll have to import the sequels
Bumbling, incompetent and the cause of more chaos than any of the cases he investigates, Clouseau is proof that a policeman's best friend is often blind luck. This disaster-prone inspector for the French Sûreté creates so much misfortune for himself and others and yet somehow always manages to get his man (or woman) and becomes known (by those who have never met him, at least) as France's greatest detective. Maybe not the best but, as portrayed by Peter Sellers, Clouseau is definitely the funniest cop around.
Get the disc: There's a DVD boxset of all the Pink Panther films, but only the first is currently available on BD. And don't pick up the abominable Steve Martin remake by mistake!
Forget the lightweight, silly-suited duo from the 1980s TV series and head straight for Michael Mann's no-nonsense 2006 thriller. Here, Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Ricardo Tubbs' (Jamie Foxx) sleeves are rolled up metaphorically rather than literally, as they persue drug smugglers and neo-Nazis with unrelenting professionalism and little concern for their own personal safety. Sure, they still ride around in sports cars and drive speedboats – and look smug doing it – but it's all part of the day job.
Get the disc: Fans will want to import the region-free Unrated Director's Cut release which features a lavish new opening sequence
Having spent several years glamourising criminals in films like The Killer (1989) and Once a Thief (1991), John Woo then decided it was time he did the same for the police. The result was 1992's Hard Boiled, starring Chow Yun-fat as Inspector 'Tequila' Yuen. This kick-ass cop specialises in leaping through the air in slow-motion, rescuing newborn babies and gunning down endless streams of mob hit men. Hard Boiled captured the attention of audiences around the world and saw Hollywood open its doors to both its director and leading man – but Woo has never bettered it.
Get the disc: Dragon Dynasty's all-region US BD is your best bet – although don't expect too much in the way of visual thrills
In the Predator's first outing it took a muscle-bound military man to thwart it, but in the criminally underrated 1990 sequel, Danny Glover's LA cop manages to keep the dreadlocked extra-terrestrial in check, all while dodging bullets from rival drug gangs and putting up with the dodgy jokes of his young partner (Bill Paxton). Harrigan is everything you want from a screen copper – impulsive, brave and quick-witted, and the owner of more guns than you'd ever think necessary. Quite frankly, he makes Glover's other notable lawman, Lethal Weapon's Roger Murtaugh, look like a dork.
Get the disc: Big game hunters should track down Fox's all-region Blu-ray release
Long before Rush Hour, Jackie Chan brought his trademark combination of breathtaking martial arts action and hair-raising stunts to the world of cop movies with this 1985 hit. Standout moments include smashing a car through a hillside shanty town and fighting thugs at a shopping mall – basically, nothing stops Inspector Ka-Kui from delivering justice (not even the injuries that Chan and his stunt team suffered, which play out under the end credits). Ka-Kui returned in three sequels – Police Story 2, Super Cop and First Strike – before filmmakers hit the reboot button in 2004 and cast Chan against type as a disgraced detective in New Police Story. However, a fifth film in the original series is rumoured to be going into production later this year.
Get the disc: The world is still waiting for a good hi-def release. So you'll have to make do with Cine-Asia's R2 DVD for now
The two lead characters in Michael Bay's buddy movie franchise – detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett – are the kind of cops who can barely exit the house without leaving a trail of bullet holes and crumpled cars. Burnett (Martin Lawrence) is clearly the more ineffectual of the duo, but without him to shout at, Will Smith's Porsche-driving super-charismatic bobby would be somewhat dull – and they frequently use their bickering to outwit confused crooks. Prepared to assume each other's identities, play chicken with an AC Superblower and run around Miami with their shirts un-buttoned, they've raised the bar for police partnerships on the silver screen. A third movie is in pre-production.
Get the disc: Sony Pictures has so far only released the first Bad Boys movie on Blu-ray – the continued absence of a hi-def Bad Boys II platter is a mystery
Joseph Dredd made his debut in the second issue of the UK comic 2000 AD and has spent the past 35 years meting out justice in a post-apocalyptic world where cops are empowered to act as judge, jury and executioner – hence his catchphrase, 'I am the law!'. When Hollywood took notice in 1995 it gave us a blockbuster film that got everything (outside of the production design) dead wrong – including the cardinal sin of having Sylvester Stallone's Dredd remove his helmet. Thankfully, last year's ultra-violent reboot Dredd 3D gave fans the cinematic outing they'd been waiting for.
Get the disc: Grab a copy of Entertainment in Video's Region B Blu-ray release - reviewed here
A policeman so hip he plays mind-games with injured criminals – 'did he fire six shots or only five?' – 'Dirty' Harry Callahan has scowled his way through five instalments of San Francisco crime-fighting and always finished up on top. However, it's not the serial killers and rogue Vietnam veterans that give him the most trouble, but the snooty, sniffy superiors at City Hall who question his methods. The prototype 'loose cannon', modern cinema simply wouldn't be the same without him – even if some critics like to argue he's a borderline fascist.
Get the disc: Pick up all five movies (with lossless audio mixes) in Warner's 2009 Blu-ray box set
One of film's most iconic law enforcers, RoboCop certainly has an advantage courtesy of his bulletproof body armour and computer-assisted aiming system – but in a futuristic Detroit he has to go up against super-violent criminals, mad scientists, the bug-ridden battle-bot ED209 and the infuriating nature of his own directives. The standout film in the series is undoubtedly Paul Verhoeven's startling original, but the Frank Miller-scripted sequel is certainly worth a viewing. A reboot, directed by Elite Squad-helmer Jose Padilha, is scheduled for 2014. We can't wait.
Get the disc: Fox's Trilogy Blu-ray boxset offers uninspiring transfers and next to no extras. We'd buy that for a dollar, but not much more
Top of our list is the movie cop that everyone would want patrolling their neighbourhood. Give John McClane a gun and a few bullets and he can thwart entire terrorist plots. Give him a fire-hose and he'll engineer a death-defying escape from a skyscraper. Give him an articulated lorry and he'll outrun a fighter jet. Give him an icicle and he'll stab you in the eye. Give him a five-second break in the action and he'll say something witty. Yippee-ki-yay? Indeed.
Get the disc: Fox has issued the Die Hard Quadrilogy on Blu-ray, but you might want to wait for the inevitable, er, Quintilogy later this year
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