Cops are sworn to serve and protect their local communities. Sometimes, that requires doing something a bit more crazy than hitting the local coffee shop and loading up on all the donuts they can stomach. In the movies, cops can go off either end of the crazy meter. It can mean either a really tough day for the bad guys or bad day for everyone else. These eight movie cops are crazy enough to make you avoid crossing them at all costs.
Martin Riggs (“Lethal Weapon”):
Who knew that Martin Riggs so effectively mirrored Mel Gibson's real-life insanity? When we first meet Riggs, he is equal parts suicidal and depressed after the death of his first wife. Riggs is also flat out nuts. He takes out villains with “Three Stooges” inspired moves. He also dislocates his own shoulder to escape from a strait jacket and win office bets. If only Mel could escape his own craziness that easily.
John McClane (“Die Hard”):
If you are a thief masquerading as a terrorist and want to pull off a grand heist, it is probably a good idea to do it while John McClane is on vacation out of the country. McClane has a penchant for showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time and being a fly in the ointment for the bad guys. And he always wins, even if it means blowing up an airplane taking off or dispatching a helicopter with an airborne police car.
Eugene Tackleberry (“Police Academy”):
It's tempting to say that ex-NFL star Bubba Smith looked more imposing as Sgt. Hightower. Still, Tackleberry was the truly scary one. His all-out obsession with guns and other weaponry was a little unnerving. Tackleberry was always looking for an excuse to start shooting up the place. Too bad he did not start with the studio executives who greenlit all those awful “Police Academy” sequels.
Harry Callahan (“Dirty Harry”):
Anyone on either side of the law knew it was never a good idea to mess with Harry Callahan. His methods were ruthless in catching criminals. Those punks did not feel lucky nor did they want to make his day. He flouted department regulations whenever they didn't suit his purposes. Clint Eastwood set the standard for the anti-hero who is only slightly better than the villains he is pursuing.
Alonzo Harris (“Training Day”):
One thing is certain about Harris. He is the partner from Hell for a rookie cop. Any idealistic view of police work goes right out the window the minute Harris starts stealing drug money and trying to get thugs to kill his rookie partner Jake so he can pay off a debt to Russian mobsters. Denzel Washington earned a well-deserved Academy Award for his turn as the corrupt Harris.
Norman Stansfield (“The Professional”):
Speaking of corrupt cops, Gary Oldman is definitely no Commissioner Gordon in this tale about a young girl who hires a hitman to take down a cop that murdered her entire family after her father stole illicit drugs from DEA agents. Oldman plays Stansfield, the corrupt DEA agent in question and does a good job of crafting a cold and sadistic character.
Matt Cordell (“Maniac Cop”):
Death cannot even slow down Cordell. He becomes an undead fiend who butchers people left and right out of revenge for being framed and sent to prison by his superiors on the police force – where he eventually died. Cordell gives a new meaning to police brutality with some of his slasher style killings.
Jim Malone (“The Untouchables”):
They do police work a little different in Chicago. In Malone's case, it means shooting a corpse in the face to get a witness to agree to testify against Al Capone. His methods are brutal, but he helps Elliott Ness figure out what he needs to do to take down Capone and his bootlegging operation.