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June 11, 2019 3:42 PM   Subscribe

What are some movies where the cop and the criminal s/he's investigating become allies after the cop discovers the criminal is being fooled/forced into doing the crime against his will, and in the second half of the film, the two work together to bring down the bigger bad guy?

I feel like I've seen this trope in films before but can't for the life of me remember where.
posted by egeanin to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's (spoilers for a nearly-thirty-year-old movie) the plot of The Fugitive, although it's not a half and half split.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:44 PM on June 11, 2019

this kinda fits? Out of Sight
posted by pyro979 at 4:03 PM on June 11, 2019 [3 favorites]

Not cop and criminal, but Trading Places fits this general plot structure.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 5:17 PM on June 11, 2019

I feel like this is a frequent trope in the Fast and Furious movies? In the first two, Paul Walker's character is the cop who ends up working with the carjackers...and later when The Rock comes in, he's he FBI agent that then teams up with them to go after the really bad guys.
posted by cpatterson at 7:17 PM on June 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Burglar maybe fits?
posted by Toddles at 8:17 PM on June 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

John Woo's Hard Boiled has a similar premise, except the criminal is an undercover cop trying to maintain his cover.
posted by neckro23 at 10:20 PM on June 11, 2019

Banlieu 13 (aka District B13, but don't watch the dubbed version) seems to fit.
posted by Lexica at 11:17 PM on June 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Not a cop, and not exactly a criminal, but 12 Monkeys has the same feel.
posted by JJtheJetPlane at 6:20 AM on June 12, 2019

This happens a lot, but I recommend The Killer from John Woo.

Jeffrey is an assassin who wishes to leave the business so he can take care of Jennie, the beautiful lounge singer who he inadvertently blinded during a previous assignment. Li Ying is the determined cop who will stop at nothing to bring him in, only he realizes that Jeffrey is no ordinary assassin, and wishes to help him in his quest. Only problem is that Jeffrey's employers refuse to pay him for his last job, money which is needed to restore Jennie's eyesight.

Also hard boiled by John Woo. A lot of John Woo movies...
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:08 AM on June 12, 2019

Midnight Run
posted by overeducated_alligator at 10:51 AM on June 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

The roles are reversed, but Die Hard 3 (Die Hard With A Vengeance, I think?) has a cop who is forced into doing criminal things with a civilian helping him after understanding the situation.
posted by tacodave at 4:20 PM on June 12, 2019

The not-very-good movie Fled, which is your traditional two-escaped-prisoners-handcuffed-together, in the model of The Defiant Ones, takes a twist when the more-credible-actor half of the duo (Steven Baldwin and Lawrence Fishburne) is revealed to be an undercover cop.

Banlieu 13 was remade for the US market as Brick Mansions, featuring Paul Walker as the cop, and French actor David Belle remakes his own role from B13 as the parkour-adept Robin-Hood if the walled ghetto in which it is set.

Per tacodave above, Die Hard 4 (Live Free or Die Hard) also qualifies, and to a lesser degree all the Die Hard movies, with the exception of the first one because he's solo. In 4, he's teamed up with the hacker-criminal Justin Long, and he breaks a few laws, like downing an airborne USMC F-35 by emptying a tractor trailer on top of it. (See, it sounds silly when you write it down), or driving a stolen car into an airborne helicopter (he was definitely driving in a hazardous fashion before he abandoned the car). McClane is a great cop, but having a NYPD badge does not mean he's acting lawfully when he blows up a floor of Nakatomi Plaza in LA, or an aircraft at Washington Dulles Airport. Die Hard 3 is the only one set in New York for any appreciable length of time.

Both Judge Dredd and Dredd have this to some degree; in the former case Dredd needs the criminal's help to get out of a frame; in the latter case the criminal is a hacker coerced by serious threats to work for Ma-Ma, a woman in running to be the cruelest character Lena Hedley has ever played.
posted by Sunburnt at 5:33 PM on June 12, 2019

What overeducated_alligator suggested. Great film.
posted by terrapin at 10:04 AM on June 14, 2019

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