Stakeout (1987) — Cops on the stake

“Ooo, I love my job, I love it so much!”

Justin’s rating: We’re gonna need a bigger moustache

Justin’s review: You couldn’t go swinging a dead cat by its tail in the ’80s without hitting a cop buddy flick. And chances are, that dead cat would also be partnered up with a nine-year-old gardening detective in a movie called Dead Puss And Roots. Did I work too hard to make that one connect? It’s okay. Let’s just move on to a new paragraph.

We all know the clichés. There’s always two unorthodox cops who are partnered up against all odds and forced to hack out a weird working relationship. There’s always a spitting-mad police captai, always bad cops on the take, always a lack of regard for proper police procedure. Stakeout is not very different (Emilio Estevez would soon come to parody it — and other cop buddy flicks — in Loaded Weapon 1), but that doesn’t stop it from being entertaining. “Frogs in tiny tuxedoes tap dancing across your kitchen counter” type of entertaining.

Chris (Richard Dreyfuss) and Bill (Estevez) are goof-off cops given a routine stakeout assignment: To watch the home of an ex-girlfriend of an escaped convict. For all of the doldrum of the job, they manage to make it fun with truckloads of witty repartee and by playing practical jokes on the other two cops who share the assignment with them. During the stakeout, Chris ends up falling in love with the girl they’re watching, etcetera etcetera, shoot shoot, and then the end credits.

The best part about this movie is in the foolish relationship between the partners. They’re slobs, act like little children most of the time, and mess around more like real people would (and less like the carefully orchestrated movie people usually do). Guys need movies like this, because this is exactly what we love about hanging out with a good friend: little-to-no social etiquette to follow, eating pizza, and photographing girls from the house across the street. Dreyfuss and Estevez are obviously having the time of their lives, and that’s enjoyable to partake in.

It’s not perfect, but then, you’re not either. Seriously, what major motion picture have you filmed, edited, promoted and released lately? You Got Served? You’re pathetic, my friend. Stakeout has some traditionally boring action/thriller sequences bookending the flick, so my advice is just to fast-forward through them and learn new and fun uses for toilet paper.

Didja notice?

  • Hey, you gotta give them that breakout. They worked HARD for it.
  • It’s 10 minutes into the film before we meet our main characters
  • Mmm… yucky breakfasts and fish guts… I’m hungry!
  • Love that cool hat flip
  • A young Forrest Whittaker as a cop
  • All the cops bickering in the captain’s office… and the captain laughing at it
  • Toilet paper trap!

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