Behold! Cinema’s best movie bromances

Romances are ok, but in all honesty they’re for girls aren’t they? Far better to go for a good bromance, there’s nothing fluffy or lightweight there. Male bonding, get in!

Often a good bromance is deeply rooted in a dramatic situation or blossoms in the face of adversity – it’s a complex relationship with meat on the bones. With that in mind, I’d like to celebrate a few of the best out there. Remember, it’s like they say in Top Gun, ‘…after the taste of success, one of life’s little joys…is the boys!’

Riggs-And-MurtaughLethal Weapon films (1987-1998) – Riggs and Murtaugh
Did they coin the term ‘buddy cop movie’? Unlikely. But they did make a strong claim for the best set of films to wear that tag with pride. The bond between Mel Gibson’s Riggs and Danny Glover’s Murtaugh was a joy to watch throughout.

Bad Boys (1995) – Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey
Will Smith at the height of his powers riffing off Martin Lawrence. Even Michael Bay couldn’t spoil the love shining through, loosely hidden beneath bitching and practical jokes. ‘Bad boys, bad boys, watcha gonna do!

Swingers-Jon-Favreau-Vince-VaughnSwingers (1996) – Mike and Trent
You’re money and you don’t even know it.‘ Trent (Vince Vaughn) spends the majority of the film boosting Mike’s (Jon Favreau) self-confidence following a breakup, proving that – ultimately – it’s your mates that help you through.

Jerry Maguire (1996) – Rod Tidwell and Jerry Maguire
There’s countless scenes to pick – the whole movie is pure bromance. Ok, there’s a bit of romance in there, I’ll give you that. But for every romance scene with Zellweger’s Dorothy, Cuba Gooding’s Tidwell gets a bromance scene to match.

shaun of the dead ed shaunShaun of the Dead (2004) – Shaun and Ed
Hot Fuzz (2007) – Nicholas and Danny
To be honest you could take any of the films that feature Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, such is the real life friendship these two have it shines through, lending itself perfectly to characters they play. You could watch them hang out all day.

Starsky & Hutch (2004) – David Starsky and Ken Hutchinson
Ben Stiller’s buttoned-down Starsky and Owen Wilson’s cavalier Hutch – a perfect mismatch with bromance in abundance. Wished they’d done a follow up in some ways. Here’s the knife-throwing scene to bring back happy memories.

superbadbromanceSuperbad (2007) – Seth and Evan
Two rising stars at the time – Jonah Hill and Michael Cera – gave their characters such sweetness and depth. You really felt for them, particularly at a tender moment near the end where they’re parting company and moving on with their lives.

Sherlock Holmes (2009) – Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson
Guy Ritchie struck gold bagging Downey Jr for the lead with the dependable Jude Law as the trusty Watson. An enticing cocktail of razor-sharp wit and action followed and a new buddy action franchise was born.

2009_the_damned_united_018The Damned United (2009) – Brian Clough and Peter Taylor
Acting giants Michael Sheen and Tim Spall play Clough and Taylor and both put in brilliant performances, as you’d expect. You think maybe they’re not that close, till they fall out and reunite in a touching scene.

End of Watch (2012) – Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala
Made all the more poignant and heartfelt by the way Gyllenhaal and Pena built the bond between their characters with every scene. Just two LA beat cops who are brothers in all but blood. You’re right there with them to the bitter end.

Top ten performances of Tom Cruise

After being impressed with Cruise’s performance in Jack Reacher recently it got me thinking. Is Cruise one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood? He surely must be, given his output. Since his first credited role in Endless Love in 1981, I can only count seven instances in the last 31 years where he’s had more than a one-year break between jobs. Mostly he’s had at least one film out a year, 39 in total to date.

What’s most impressive is the range of films and quality of performances. I assume that’s why, for some people, he’s a divisive figure. A man at the top of his game and loving it. Whether you’re a fan or not, it’s hard to dispute his screen presence and charisma. Here’s my pick of his top ten performances:

  • lestat tom cruiseInterview with the Vampire – 1994
    Cruise wasn’t initially favoured by novelist Anne Rice, but won her and audiences over with his sublime, sadistic and graceful take on aristocratic vampire Lestat, constantly tormenting Brad Pitt’s troubled vampire Louis.
  • Vanilla Sky – 2001
    Described as ‘Jerry Maguire on an acid trip’ this sees Cruise play a publishing mogul who becomes facially disfigured following a car accident. What happens then is anyone’s guess as dream and reality blend together in Cameron Crowe’s twisted tale.
  • A Few Good Men – 1992
    Slugging it out with Jack Nicholson’s army general in a courtroom is no easy task. Cruise’s performance as idealistic navy lawyer was realistic and compelling, plus he gave us that iconic ‘you can’t handle the truth’ scene.
  • YouCompleteMe_JerryMaguireJerry Maguire – 1996
    Taking nothing away from the outstanding Zellweger, this film is anchored by Cruise’s raw, touching performance as sports agent Jerry, trying to rebuild a career and hang on to his marriage. A beautifully told, feel-good tale.
  • Minority Report – 2002
    Some may think this a Spielberg action tale, but it’s closer to a futuristic film noir. Cruise convincingly plays cop John Anderton whose life gets upended, accused of a crime and forced to clear his name whilst on the run.
  • Collateral – 2004
    Perhaps this was a nice warm up to play Reacher – here he played a cold, calculating and ruthless hitman, les-grossman-moviestuck in a cat-and-mouse game with Jamie Foxx’s average Joe-type cab driver.
  • Tropic Thunder – 2008
    With an ensemble cast of great comic actors, Cruise stands out as ruthless studio head Les Grossman – his tirades (I will massacre you!), his dancing, his menace. Fantastically funny and refreshing.
  • The Last Samurai – 2003
    As world-weary Captain Nathan Algren, his performance in Ed Zwick’s epic action tale is truly a masterclass in submitting wholeheartedly to the character. Compelling, heartfelt and affecting throughout.
  • Jack Reacher – 2012
    Ensuring the wrath of Lee Child fans worldwide, Cruise opted to play 6’5 man-mountain army detective Jack Reacher – a sort of modern Dirty Harry. Here he gives the character wit, intelligence and gravitas.
  • tom cruise Born on the Fourth of July 01Born on the Fourth of July – 1989
    Delivering arguably a career-best performance as wheelchair-bound Vietnam veteran Ron Kovich. This film came only a few years into his career ascendancy, but firmly cemented him as bona fide A-grade, talent.