Most detectives you see in films, particularly those that are from New York City, are hard as nails and have supposedly seen it all. They don’t take a lot of anything from anyone and will throw down with a suspect in a New York minute if they feel the need. It might not be a fair or even realistic representation of law enforcement in New York, but it definitely makes for an interesting cinematic experience. When you watch the tough, heavily-armed NYC detective go after the bad guys you can’t help but cheer as they perform their duty and look awesome doing it.
Here’s some of the toughest and most entertaining of the bunch.
5. Nick Chen – The Corruptor
He’s got the kind of look that says not to mess with him, no matter if you think you’re tough. Chow Yun Fat is a great actor and easily one of the better action stars out there, but he’s way underrated at times. He’s played such awesome roles as Li Mu Bai and the Bulletproof Monk following this impressive showing. His character in this film is corrupt but he at least attempts to be a good person. In the end he dies a noble death while telling his replacement not to follow his footsteps.
4. Keith Frazier – Inside Man
Denzel is a master of giving people that scrutinizing look that makes a person squirm in their seat until they will tell him virtually anything he wants to know. Plus he’s almost always cool under pressure and has a way of smooth-talking people even if he’s not being particularly nice. That laid back tone of voice catches a lot of people off guard, especially when it hardens and he becomes all business once again.
3. Scotty Appleton – New Jack City
A lot of people didn’t think much of Ice T when he started acting, but personally I think he’s been great ever since he started showing up in film. It’s ironic though that he’s played the role of a cop in this film and for so long on Law and Order: SVU, when in his earlier days he was all into rapping about how cops were the enemy and whatnot. He’s definitely matured since his days onstage but there’s no denying that he’s still the same guy that used to get on the mic and let it fly when he had the chance.
2. Patrick Denham – The Wolf of Wall Street
He’s tenacious, that much is for certain. The manner in which he goes after Jordan Belfort in this film shows that he’s a character that doesn’t stop digging until he finds enough to really nail someone with when he suspects they’ve done something wrong. He also has that deadpan attitude that stops hilarity cold and doesn’t brook any foolishness on the part of others.
1.Â John McClane – Die Hard
Anyone thinking this was going to be a one and done movie was proven absolutely wrong when the franchise got going after the first one. People wanted John McClane was a long ways from New York for the first film but he represented his own style of toughness when he took on and defeated a tower’s worth of terrorists in an explosive and ultimately effective manner.
NYC detectives in the film are just flat out tough. ‘Nuff said.