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August 29, 2010

Versus: Jerry Lee vs. Hooch

Versus is designed to compare two or more similar movies or characters in order to determine who or what is the best version. I break it down by category and score each one on a scale of 1 - 5. The highest total score in the end wins. Even I don't know who will win until it's over. This is my game played by my rules. If you don't like it, tough noogies.

Jerry Lee vs. Hooch

Ah, the 80s. They brought us Ronald Reagan, the AIDS virus and more buddy cop movies than you can think of. Hell, there was even one starring Jay Leno and Pat Morita. Throughout the decade, filmmakers attempted to exhaust every possible combination of partners imaginable. There was the white guy / black guy combo, the black guy / two white guys combo and even the white guy / alien combo. Just when they thought they ran out of ideas, 1989 brought us the white guy / dog combo. In fact, they loved the idea so much, they did it twice. I figure that we've seen plenty of cops, so this time around I'm just focusing on the canine counterparts.

Buy K-9 and Turner and Hooch on DVD


Jerry Lee: The classic K-9 cop is a by-the-book police officer. He seems to scold Dooley for his screw-ups and even stays on his level when it comes to who runs the show. Jerry Lee is a tough dog that refuses to be messed with, and his intellect matches his bravery.

Score: 4.5

Hooch: This is the all-around party animal. Hooch is playful and likes to have a few beers. He's also very destructive and doesn't seem to be too bright. His penchant for flinging drool leaves much to be desired. He is, however, that cute kind of ugly that's tough to resist.

Score: 4

Skill and Strength

Jerry Lee is a trained police dog. He knows how to sniff out drugs, chase down the bad guys and get the job done. When it comes to brute strength, Jerry was not only able to tear the side mirror right off of Dooley's Mustang, he caught a cue ball in his mouth and crunched it to bits.

Score: 5

Hooch is a massive ball of destruction. He's untrained in any way. He is intimidating, but in size only. Hooch has one problem that could screw up his abilities. He's an alcoholic. A dog that lives up to his name, Hooch likes nothing more than an ice cold beer, and that can do some damage to the senses.

Score: 2.25


Jerry Lee isn't all business. After a little tough police work, he likes to hop on the occassional prized poodle. With Dooley as his wing man, he's in good shape when it comes to his swinging bachelor lifestyle.

Score: 5

Though Hooch is a sloppy and drooling drunk, he manages to catch the eye of the veterinarian's well-groomed collie. He even manages to sire puppies with her, leaving a perfect little mini-Hooch behind.

Score: 5

The Partners

Dooley: Jim Belushi is perfect for the role of a screwed up cop. Anyone who grew up in Chicago knows at least one. He's stubborn, doesn't play by the rules and definitely has a pair of brass balls. His use of a hand held video game as a detonation device shows his quick thinking.

Score: 4.5

Scott Turner: This is one of those movies that makes you wonder why Tom Hanks turned his back on comedy. Yes, his roles were all pretty similar in that genre, but he had great timing and delivery skills. His entire "this is not your room" speech is classic, especially when he delivers it to Hooch's son.

Score: 4.5

The Bullet

As the bad guys are geting away in a helicopter, Dooley feels like it's a lost cause, but not Jerry Lee. This cop on a mission never gives up. He chases down the bad guys as they lift off and takes a bullet for his efforts. Dooley gets him to a hospital where the surgery is a success. Jerry is even slick enough to make Dooley think he's dead in order to get some kind words out of him. The bullet can't stop this top cop, so that gives him a high score.

Score: 5

As Craig T. Nelson's corrupt police chief has Turner hanging in the lurch in the classic "villain tells his story" ending, Hooch leaps into the path of the bullet in order to save his buddy and catch the bad guy. Hooch is rushed back to the vet's office for emergency surgery, but doesn't pull through. Thankfully for Hooch, he left a legacy behind.

Score: 4.5

The Final Score

Jerry Lee is the kind of dog you'd want on your side if things got hairy. He's smart, he's tough and he's managed to carry on through a failed television series and a couple of sequels. There's just something compelling about his humanistic personality. You almost think he's smarter than you at times. If I had a dog, I'd want him to be Jerry Lee.

Score: 24 out of a possible 25

Hooch is a loving a loyal dog. You feel for him after his owner is killed, and you can't not love his heroic actions in the end. He is, however, a disaster in many ways. He'll tear your house up, drown you in drool and drink you out of your liquor cabinet. He's fun to watch on screen, but I don't ever see this dog curling up at my feet.

Score: 20.25 out of a possible 25

The Winner: JERRY LEE!

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