Kumail Nanjiani and John Cena Will Star in a Buddy Cop Comedy

The past couple of years in big screen comedy have witnessed something of a resurgence for stifled subgenres like the rom-com, the party picture, and the buddy cop flick. Against the grain of an evolving cultural landscape, these former cinematic staples have reclaimed attention with a healthy balance of time-honored charms and era-appropriate reinvention. The latter component of this recipe is especially significant when it comes to comedies about the police force, whose connotations present a particular challenge for any film daring to revisit the genre. On the other side of the same coin, when a new buddy cop movie boasts interesting parties like Kumail Nanjiani and John Cena at the head, the project promises especial intrigue.

Newly announced as the stars of a developing comedy by Zombieland and Gangster Squad director Ruben Fleischer (via The AV Club), this duo alone is enough to suggest that the film may be interested in deviating from the genre’s rapidly antiquating tradition. Successful entries like The Heat, The Nice Guys, and the Ride Along movies notwithstanding, the buddy cop category shoulders particular weight in the modern age, which we’ve got to assume an outspoken progressive like Nanjiani would be interesting in tackling beyond the margins of genre convention.

Admittedly, it’s jumping the gun to assume that Fleischer’s picture may be willing to explore the divide between police activity and justice; still, the lengths that Nanjiani’s The Big Sick and the Cena-costarring Trainwreck went to subvert the transgressions that rom-com history had imparted unto race and gender, respectively, leaves me optimistic for something a little more thoughtful than usual in this new venture. And to combat the oft exclaimed counterargument to this drive toward more forward-thinking material: No, that doesn’t mean it can’t also be funny.

Are you looking forward to a buddy cop comedy starring Kumail Nanjiani and John Cena? Let us know!

Image: HBO

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