At least since the days of Sergeant Friday and Officer Gannon of television’s Dragnet fame, the chemistry between two men assigned to fight crime together has proved fascinating. Sometimes filmmakers go the serious route, other times the comic. The highest grossing movie at the box office this weekend was “22 Jump Street,” a law enforcement buddy comedy. If this puts you in the mood for a similar flick, consider 1987’s “Stakeout.”
“Stakeout” begins with a prison escape. The FBI believes there is an outside chance that the convict, Richard (played by Aiden Quinn), may stop by the home of his former girlfriend, Maria (played by Madeline Stowe). Because of this, police are assigned to watch her home from the house across the street. Partners Chris (played by Richard Dreyfuss) and Bill (played by Emilio Estevez) watch the house in the nights, while another group of cops watch it in the day. Just as in “22 Jump Street,” one of the partners becomes enchanted by a woman who is clueless about his real identity, so to does this familiar plot twist undergird this story.
Although the plot is not a game-changer, “Stakeout” works because it features great actors in the lead roles. Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez are both very good, and they play very well off of each other. Aiden Quinn is also strong as the villain. He seems very real as a convict. Madeline Stowe is great as the lovely Maria, who falls for Richard, unaware of his real identity.
There are several good action scenes in the film. One is a car chase near the end when the police almost catch Richard and his partner. The scene is quite gritty.
The movie has several amusing scenes. Often, Richard and Bill play practical jokes on the cops who watch the house during the day and vice-versa.
“Stakeout” is a great choice for fans of buddy films as it is funny and action packed.