Friendship is a powerful thing and can withstand through almost anything, and bromances are no exception. For those of you who may not know what it means, bromances is basically a male-male friendship that’s platonic but both parties convey how much they care for each other at times through more macho, masculine means. Many people would consider the friendship between Dominic (Vin Diesel) and Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) in Fast & Furious 6 to be a particularly cheesy but wonderful bromance, along with that of Dominic and Brian (Paul Walker).
So that got me to thinking, what other kind of male-male friendships, or bromances, are out there in the world of cinema that we may or may not have known about? This is where our list comes in. In honor of this week’s masculine action-flick Fast & Furious 6, I run down the list of what many could consider to be the best bromances ever shown off on the big screen. Unfortunately I’m going to exclude The Fast & the Furious franchise from this list because the series still continues on and we want to see how far the bromances extend before it all ends.
10. Hansel McDonald and Derek Zoolander (Zoolander)
This may be the silliest entry in the entire list, but there’s a reason why Hansel (Owen Wilson) and Derek (Ben Stiller) deserve to be on here. Their story is a typical one where enemies gradually turn into best bro-friends as they team up in order to defeat an evil that may ruin the lives of many, in this case it focuses on the fashion industry. Zoolander is a stupid comedy of sorts, but the bond that grows between supermodels Hansel and Derek is undeniable as the movie goes on. By the end they’re the best of friends and even use their popularity for a good cause, and that’s by launching The Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too. Now those are a couple of class act guys and friends, even though they’re dumb as all hell.
9. Jimmy Doyle and Buddy Russo (The French Connection)
The French Connection isn’t just a very well-done thriller, but may contain one of the softer examples of bromances out there. Jimmy Doyle (Gene Hackman) and Buddy Russo (Roy Schneider) are two detectives who are on the case, trying to uncover those involved in a international drug ring that’s spilling out into the corrupt streets of New York. The dynamic between these two is very classic in regards to cop films. They both are working for a noble cause but in some ways are different personalities that work to their advantage in order to crack the case. Jimmy is a slightly rogue-ish, a-hole cop while Buddy is more straight laced and even tempered. The two make for a perfect combination and while their bromance is subtle, it’s still noticeable.
8. Morton and Greg (21 Jump Street)
The term “bromance” gained more attention within the past few years. Therefore the male-male friendships became more obvious and over-the-top in its displays of macho affection, displayed best in 21 Jump Street. Morton (Jonah Hill) and Greg (Channing Tatum) were once high school enemies but once they joined the police academy, they turned into the best of friends (montage included). This is one of those bro-centric friendships where they grow to love each other so much that they feel like they’re brothers. It’s a really sweet when you see two dudes getting to be emotional for another without being too macho to say how they feel about one another.
7. Martin Riggs and Roger Murthaga (Lethal Weapon)
Lethal Weapon is possibly one of the biggest, and better, buddy cop movies to ever pop out in the past thirty years. No bromance is more complicated, and entertaining to watch, than that of the straight-laced homicide sergeant Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and the unpredictable narcotics sergeant Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson). In the real world these two may have shot each other after a certain point, just to get the other out of their way in order to solving a case, but in Lethal Weapon they turn into a fantastic crime fighting police duo that always keeps each other on their toes. Even though the two don’t exactly see eye-to-eye, they form a very strong bond by the end of the movie that’s been used as the story backbone of the three sequels followed after Lethal Weapon. Now that’s a bromance that survives through thick and thin.
6. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid)
The story of the notorious robbers Butch Cassidy and Harry Longabaugh, better known as “The Sundance Kid,” is well known throughout the lore of criminals that traveled around the rugged American terrain in the late 1800s. Their friendship was best portrayed in the 1969 Western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid where Paul Newman and Robert Redford played the two outlaws during the final years of their life of crime. They stuck with each other through the good times and the bad, always covering each other’s back even when nobody else was on their side. Their story contains the kind of loyalty that many of us hope to find in a friendship. Even though the term doesn’t particularly seem classy to use pertaining to this picture, their tough-as-nails friendship certainly was a “bromance” of sorts.
5. John McClane and Sergeant Al Powell (Die Hard)
There are certain small connections between two people that eventually turn into the building blocks for what could be a fantastic friendship. Dealing with an international terrorist is certainly one way to start an unlikely friendship between John McClane (Bruce Willis) and Sergeant Powell (Reginald VelJohnson) in Die Hard. As the police officer helps out the NYPD detective figure out a way to save the hostages and get the terrorist, they form a brotherly bond over what’s going on in their own personal lives as total chaos is erupting within the confides of the Nakatomi building all through the use of a walkie-talkie. By the end of the movie the two not only have their moments to shine but have turned into the best of friends, solidifying their bromance as they both aided each other through this terrorist threat and how they may carry out their own personal lives from that point on. Now that’s a nice example of two brothers from a different mother looking out for each other (I did a rhyme there).
4. Elwood Blues and Jake Blues (The Blues Brothers)
Yes, I’m aware that these two are actually brothers, but one of the great things about The Blues Brothers not only is their relationship in the film but the actors’ friendship in the real world. Dan Aykroyd had a fondness for blues and he introduced John Belushi to the music. What turned into a simple SNL sketch between the two blossomed into a real-life musical obsession as they began performing around with other blues bands. Eventually their sketch erupted into a movie classic where the two continued their routine of playing Elwood and Jake who desperately try to get their rhythm and blues band back together in order to raise enough money to save the orphanage where they both came from. The characters Elwood and Jake loved the band as much as Dan and John did in real life. Unfortunately John Belushi died a couple of years after the release of The Blues Brothers but the legacy lives on as the band, with new members, have been performing around the nation for decades.
3. Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gangee (The Lord of the Rings)
Many have proclaimed that the friendship or bromance between Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and Samwise Gangee (Sean Astin) in The Lord of the Rings trilogy as the most potentially homosexual one on the big screen in the past decade, but I disagree on that one. The reason why their bromance isn’t particularly appealing to all is because they’re two men who truly care for each other. Their friendship is so strong that they would go through great lengths in order to make sure that the other is out of harms way. Sure, they’re a little bit more vocal with their own feelings towards one another, Samwise more so than Frodo, but they’re just two men who have such a strong friendship bond with one another that they’re comfortable talking about how they feel without any sort of homophobic red flags popping up in their mind. Come on people, they’re in Middle Earth. They aren’t shackled with stupid feelings of homophobia like other insecure people are out there nowadays. Their bromance is unique and is definitely one of the strongest ones on this list.
2. Johnny Utah and Bodhi (Point Break)
There’s no point even bringing up the term “bromance” without bringing Point Break into the conversation. Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is just an FBI agent doing his job uncovering a group of robbers that happen to be surfers. One day he meets Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), a charming surfer who so happens to be the gang leader of the same group of robbers that Johnny was looking to bust. Bodhi and Johnny’s complex bromance faces the ultimate test as their masculine friendship is in danger of being permanently shattered all because of what sides of the law they stand on. They show the strength of their bromance by their own actions, whether it’d be Johnny shooting his gun in the air out of anger just to reluctantly let Bodhi go free or their super bonding moment as they both skydive together, grabbing onto each other as a test of their trust and friendship with one another. It’s very complicated, and they don’t really emote verbally how they truly feel about one another, but you can certainly tell just by the way they act with each other. It’s a bromance for the ages.
1. Shaun and Ed (Shaun of the Dead)/Nicholas Angel and Danny Butterman (Hot Fuzz)
Edgar Wright knows the term “bromance” too well, and has used it to a wonderful degree in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, actors who are also great friends in real life, star in both movies as different characters but they tend to share the same kind of loyal, passionate bromace with each other. In Shaun of the Dead our title character struggles to deal with his lazy best friend, and does have moments of frustration with him, but they honestly do love one another to the point of where they’ll protect each other at any lengths in order to have the other survive the sudden zombie apocalypse. Then there’s Hot Fuzz where a reluctant police officer (Pegg) is partnered up with a more dimwitted officer (Frost) but end up uncovering a deadly secret organization that’s controlling the small town they’re sworn to protect. It’s a really cool mixture of the buddy cop dynamic and the visible bromance that grows throughout their time working on the force together. Hell, their bromance is strengthened even more as they bond over Point Break and Bad Boys II. You can only imagine what dangers their latest characters will face in order to sustain their own incarnation of bromance in The World’s End as it comes out later this year.