Follow TV Tropes


Film / Top Dog

Go To
"Good dog." "Good Jake."

Top Dog is a 1995 buddy cop film starring Chuck Norris as Jake Wilder and... a dog named Reno. Despite their friction, the duo fight crime, most notably a white supremacist group which has been bombing numerous buildings and plans to assassinate The Pope at a Coalition For Racial Unity rally.

It uses pretty much every cop cliche in the book. See also Walker, Texas Ranger for a similar Chuck Norris vehicle. See also K-9 and Turner and Hooch.

This film provides examples of:

  • Awesome, but Impractical: Early in the film, a group of terrorists disguised as clowns pays Jake's house a visit. One of them does a pointless front flip over a hedge before shooting.
  • Catchphrase: Jake: "Damn dog."
    • "That dog's a real hero, you know that?" "Yeah, so I've been told."
  • Chase Scene: There's one when two of the neo-Nazis try to cross the border with weapons in their trunk, and peel away from the patrolmen who were going to search it.
  • Cop Killer: "I'm a cop." "I don't care." [BANG]
  • Dead Partner: Reno's partner was killed.
  • Destination Defenestration: Jake kicks a druggie through a window. Reno gets the credit.
  • Dog Food Diet: Sort of. At one point, Jake brings home a chicken dinner. But he leaves the room and when he returns, he finds Reno has dug into his chicken. Angered, Jake asks what he's supposed to eat; Reno pushes the can of dog food intended for him in front of Jake's shoes.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Reno frequently has one about his old partner, who was killed in the line of duty.
  • Groin Attack: Jake lands one on a druggie early in the film.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Due to the fact that the Oklahoma City bombing occurred 9 days before the film's release date, all references to domestic terrorism were removed from trailer, making it appear as a family friendly buddy cop movie.
  • Monster Clown: As mentioned in Awesome, but Impractical, the terrorists are dressed as clowns.
  • Montages: Matthew and Reno at a fair. Also counts as filler, since it doesn't advance the story.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: The DVD release largely keeps the original score intact, but two scenes feature new pieces:
    • The action sequence with the gun-firing clowns. In the theatrical cut, it's accompanied by a traditional orchestral score. In the TV edit, it's replaced by demented circus music, which arguably makes the scene much funnier.
    • When Jake goes to a house and beats up a criminal (to which Reno gets the credit), the theatrical cut is accompanied by an orchestral piece. The TV edit replaces it with a country/rock piece.
  • Trash of the Titans: Jake's bedroom. It's so messy he can't find the phone, even when it's ringing.
  • Turn in Your Badge: Jake is on suspension at the beginning of the film, but is pulled out of it to help crack the white supremacy case.
  • Visionary Villain: The villain, Nelson, has a very clear goal in mind: He wants to unite all sorts of hate groups with one attack in order to spread his neo-Nazi agenda all over the world.
    Nelson: In a single blow, we can initiate the movement which will sanitize this country for generations! We must succeed. We will succeed!