80s produced a huge amount of buddy cop movies (Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon, Tango & Cash) where two conflicting personalities are put together cracking a case and we watch them clash for the next 90 minutes. Despite this subgenre usually being a parade of clichés I’ll be the first to admit they’re definitely my guilty pleasure.
In Stakeout, the toothbrush-moustached middle-class cops Chris Leave (Richard Dreyfuss) and Bill Reymens (Emilio Estevez) are assigned to a Stakeout case to monitor the house of former girlfriend of a dangerous criminal who has just busted out of prison, to see if he shows up. They quickly discover the subject is very attractive and the Seattle sleuths turn unwittingly into a pair of peeping Toms – until one of them becomes romantically involved with her.
Buddy cop movies rely highly on chemistry between the leading characters and Stakeout doesn’t let you down here. While the characters aren’t like oil and water and actually get along fairly well, their clashing emerges from either one stepping out of line resulting with some hilarious talk back.
Director John Badham, the dude behind Saturday Night Fever, Wargames, Short Circuit and The Hard Way – one of my favourite 90s comedies – does a very solid work here and the scenes where the undercover cops are one inch away from blowing their covers are masterfully timed.