The last 20 years have been diluting action movies featuring cops from the glory days of Die Hard and Lethal Weapon of the 80s to the action-comedy police movies of the last few years. Most of the buddy cop movie cliches almost always fall under the Lone Wolf cliches. With all these cliches, scriptwriters don’t really need to use any creativity just string enough thread-bare cliches together to form the newest direct to video cop movie. However, Dolph Lungren, Steven Segal, or Jean Claude Van-Damme can only star in so many lone wolf cop movies before the genre runs out of any any fresh cliches to milk completely dry.
This isn’t a complete list of cop cliches. Just watching a couple of low budget cop movies ought to have you see how many others that could be spotted. For instance, I excluded the mandatory ex love-interest who falls hopelessly back in love for the Lone Wolf cop despite all the bad blood between them. The martial arts prowess isn’t mentioned either because old school Lone Wolf cops could take care of anyone with a few punches without relying on a Jet Li beat down.
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10. The captain, who is motivated by the mayor’s politics, always hates him for being a violent psychopath and has plenty of paperwork to contend with from suspects continually threatening to sue the city for abuse and or false arrest.
9. Lone Wolf Cop who plays by his own rules seems to be just a couple of minutes from a eating a bullet by the way he lovingly stares at his gun when first waking in the morning.
8. Lone Wolf Cop who plays by his own rules is haunted by some terrible pain such as the death of his partner, wife, or a beloved hamster. Normally, a flashback will have him running towards them and screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!" in slow motion to indicate his inner pain that drives him.
7. Any Lone Wolf Cop who plays by his own rules besides being a highly effective killing machine is also a highly effective love machine, too. Nothing like the obligatory love scene to power up the cop for his final battle.
6. Every Lone Wolf Cop who plays by his own rules should know the value of a good wisecrack. "Do you feel lucky, punk?" is definitely is a great line. However, most Lone Wolf Cops who play by their own rules don’t those great one-liners.
5. The necessary "criminal scum have no rights" speech is preceded by how the Lone Wolf Cop has violated the civil rights of the murderer or drug lord by the angry captain.
4. I wouldn’t say he’s an alcoholic but before crawling out of bed, he needs 3 shots of whiskey. His apartment has more liquor bottles than a college campus does after a weekend
3.. The new partner will be totally different than our Lone Wolf Cop and also the odious comedic sidekick, too. The new partner will eventually learn that playing it safe and by-the-book isn’t good enough.
2. The partner who is less than a week away from retiring to start a business preferably a fishing charter. His death will be the final motivation for the Lone Wolf Cop who plays by his own rules to take care of the crime boss.
1. At the end of the movie, the Lone Wolf Cop who plays by his own rules that has killed at least 30 goons and blown up 2 city blocks will finally his comeuppance on his boot licking superiors.