Power, the Starz Originals Series, returns for its fourth season June 25 and finds itself in territory we’ve yet to see. James “Ghost” St. Patrick has been arrested for a murder he didn’t commit, and his relationship with his business partner/best friend Tommy has never been rockier. Their bond is the crux of Power, and splitting it apart opens up a world of opportunities for this season.
With Ghost and Tommy on our minds, we’ve decided to take a look back at some of the other best duos in recent pop culture history, and put together a list of the most compelling partnerships to hit screens big and small. Some have been doomed and others have been copacetic, but they’ve all been explosive and an absolute blast to watch. There’s just something about watching two men come together to conquer the world, or at least their own, that moves the bromantic in all of us.
Omari Hardrick and Joseph Sikora, a.k.a. Ghost & Tommy
Much like the other duos you’ll read about here, Ghost and Tommy’s once solid relationship isn’t what it used to be. But unlike the others on this list, they’ve been bros since childhood. The partners in crime have survived bodies falling all around them, Tommy pulling a gun on Ghost, and Ghost getting Tommy arrested—but their partnership may finally be dead with Ghost more committed than ever to going legit and leaving his status as a kingpin behind.
It may break fans’ hearts, but a cooling of Omari Hardwick and Joseph Sikora’s chemistry makes for a much better narrative. And even though there have been betrayals on both sides, it’s hard to imagine they’d ever truly turn on each other. Then again, prison does change a man, and Tommy’s continued moves on the outside may just keep Ghost locked up. Their darkest hour is upon us in season four.
Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, a.k.a. Dominic Toretto & Brian O'Conner
Family. That’s been the key word throughout the Fast and Furious franchise, and it means something to more than just the characters. To both the actors and the fans, the F&F crew has become something of a second family, which made it all the more devastating when Paul Walker tragically passed away in 2013. More than anyone else, he and Vin Diesel are the heart and soul of the franchise. When they lost Walker, they lost a lot more than the character Brian O’Connor.
The two began as something of frenemies, with O’Connor needing to prove to Dominic Toretto, king of Los Angeles street racing, that he was more than just a buster. Over time (and five films) the cop-turned- rogue-turned- fed-turned- rogue-once- again more than proved his own, aiding Toretto in revenge, heists, and toppling the world’s most dangerous criminals. But even more vital to them becoming bros was O’Connor quite literally becoming family as he wed Dom’s sister, Mia, and had a child with her.
With the help of the best technology in Hollywood, both Diesel and fans were able to say one last goodbye to Walker in the moving final scene of Furious 7. It was only right that they’d go on one last drive together, as their relationship was at the core of one of the world’s biggest action franchises. We’ll miss seeing them together, but we’re fortunate to have spent loads of time with the two anyway.
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, a.k.a. Walter White & Jesse Pinkman
Easily the most volatile pairing on this list, Walter White built an empire with Jesse Pinkman while ruining both of their lives. Sure, Walt deserved what he got—a fatal bullet to the gut, the loss of his family’s love, and infamy as one of America’s biggest criminals—but he dragged Jesse through more hell than he ever deserved. By the time Pinkman made his escape at the end of the show, he’d lost two love interests, saw the son of one of them poisoned, and been beaten to hell so often you’d think he’d boxed for a profession. It’s hard to imagine things getting much worse than that, but they were all capped off by becoming enslaved to cook meth for a bunch of neo-nazis. Heavy is the crown, but it doesn’t just weigh on those who wear it.
Things weren’t always so bad, though. Together, the two rose from a busted RV to becoming the largest manufacturers of methamphetamine in the Southwest, and earning oodles of money along the way. It was a joy to watch their minor bickering and, at times, Jesse showed his sweet side to Walt, like buying him a four-figure watch or inviting him to dinner with his makeshift family. But even the brightest of days left Jesse in the dark, as he spent the majority of the series not knowing Walt watched Jane die without intervening and actively poisoned Brock. Walt displayed loyalty to an extent but, ultimately, Jesse was only a pawn in his quest to build an empire after missing his chance to do so with a legitimate billion-dollar company. Hopefully, at least, Pinkman was able to find peace in Alaska after suffering through so much.
Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz, a.k.a. Django & Dr. King Schultz
This is not the journey of a white savior. It’s far from it, in fact. Sure, Dr. King Schultz frees Django and trains him to be one hell of a bounty hunter. But, in the end, it’s Django who saves himself and his wife while dishing out sweet, bloody revenge for his dead mentor. He had the tools the whole time; he just had to be shown how to use them.
Together, Schultz and Django do a whole lot of killing white folks for money, with the law at their side. Sometimes, it’s just business, but there are also other killings with a little extra value knowing one less slave driver is in the world. Watching Django whip the hell out of one of them is exhilarating, and it’s made all the more satisfying when Schultz is both shocked and impressed by his handiwork.
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, a.k.a. Mike Lowrey & Marcus Burnett
When Will Smith was just the Fresh Prince, it was hard to imagine him as either an action hero or the straight man, but he played those roles perfectly alongside Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys. Fans have been clamoring for Bad Boys 3 for good reason: The duo combined forces for one of the most fun franchises in both the genres of buddy cop and action films. They also kickstarted the career of the Michael Bay, who’s only gone on to make even more explosive action flicks.
With all due respect to Miami Vice, no duo has ever run through the 305 with as much style and slick talk. Narcs shouldn’t be this cool, and this franchise shouldn’t have been so big, jumping from a $23 million budget to pulling in $130 million on the sequel. Critics may lambast the Bad Boys, but fans won’t care when the two resume insulting each other and their perpetrators in Bad Boys for Life, set to debut next year.
Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, a.k.a. Lee & Carter
“Do you understand the words coming out of my mouth?” There’s no better catchphrase on this list, and Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker made for one of the most hilarious, odd couples of all-time, and some of their best moments came when the loud-mouthed, arrogant LAPD detective thought the transplant from Hong Kong couldn’t speak English. It was all just a ruse, though, allowing Detective Lee to get the slip and attempt to do what he does best: solving the case with the help of absurd stunts.
This chemistry set the stage for three outrageous films full of peak trash-talking Chris Tucker and peak “how the hell did he do that?” Jackie Chan. Let’s just pretend the TV show never happened.
Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, a.k.a. Tyler Durden & The Narrator
Technically, this duo is more of a solo excursion. But never has a lone crazy man been so entertaining in film, which is a credit to the firepower of The Narrator’s dissociated personality, Tyler Durden. Brad Pitt’s character is everything Ed Norton’s is not: confident, violent, ballsy, charming, and, uh, jacked as hell. All of us probably have a beast within, though we can’t all say they’d be a shirtless Brad Pitt kicking ass in a basement.
The unlikely friendship between The Narrator and Durden sees the latter inspiring the former to torch away the excesses of his mindlessly capitalistic life as he embraces the raw carnage of an anarchist group masquerading as a fight club. But as The Narrator gains confidence, the torch becomes a tad too strong. He tries to pull back after he loses his job and starts to see some serious chaos perpetrated by the fight club, but then comes the reveal: Tyler Durden was him all along. It’s one of the greatest plot twists in history, one so earth shattering we wish we could erase it from our minds to watch the movie again blind.