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Showtime (2002)
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Review Date: March 28, 2002
Director: Tom Dey
Writer: Keith Sharon, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
Producers: Jane Rosenthal, Jorge Saralegui
Actors:
Robert DeNiro as Mitch Preston
Eddie Murphy as Trey Sellars
Rene Russo as Chase Renzi
Plot:
A tough-as-nails cop is forced to co-star in a reality TV police show with a goofy partner, who is seemingly more interested in advancing his own acting career, than he is in busting bad guys. Hilarity is supposed to ensue.
Critique:
I remember watching the trailer for this movie and thinking "whatever", and now that I've seen the actual movie, I have to say that only one thing comes to my mind once again: "whatever". This movie seems like it was made about 5 years ago. The jokes are stale (Johnny Cochrane??), the "reality TV" shtick has been done to death and the action sequences & bad guys are totally 80s and didn't entertain me one bit. The saddest part about this venture is the inclusion of Robert DeNiro as one of the cops being followed around by a camera. Hmmmm, didn't DeNiro just shoot a movie last year called 15 MINUTES, in which he was a cop with a partner (whom he didn't like), in which they pursued a couple of bad guys who were filming their own crimes on camera? Sure, he did! Now I'm not saying that this is the exact same movie, but Bobby, dude...tell your agent to drop the "cop parts" in the garbage pail already...I mean, please! Robert DeNiro is one of my favorite actors of all-time, but when I see him rehashing his own roles in rehashed movies, well, I gotta say something (phew, that felt good!). As for Murphy, it was nice to see the dude out of a fat suit for once, or skipping the animated or animal voices, but this film was no BOWFINGER. His character was way too one-dimensional to give a shit about, and as much as they tried to make him an idiot for humor's sake, it just kept striking me as nonsensical (would any police department ever really hire this complete incompetent?).

But the biggest problem with this comedy was actually quite simple: it just wasn't funny. I remember watching the first 30 minutes or so and suddenly realizing that nobody in the theatre was laughing at anything...including me! Sure, a couple of small things were humorous, but for the most part, the jokes just sat there, waiting for a response. The actual "story" was also extremely laborious, with the first hour of the film wasted in showing DeNiro's character nixing everyone who wanted him to do the reality show ("okay, we get it...he doesn't want to do the show...move on, already!"), and the rest of it trying to piece together some incredibly stale plotline which might've seemed appropriate for BEVERLY HILLS COP 8 or something, but felt very dated and boring here (oooh, the bad guy has a big gun...everyone run!). Ugh. So why am I even giving the film some marks? Well, it's definitely "light" on its feet, didn't really stink as much as it was "just there" and it's sure to go down easier on video/dvd. Rene Russo was also looking good every now and then (even though her character is wasted) and William Shatner shows up and does some funny shtick. But in the end, the film is nothing more than an obvious canned merchandising product from a studio who decided that with a recycled script, two big-name stars and a director who succeeded in one other "buddy comedy" (SHANGHAI NOON), the film just couldn't go wrong. Unfortunately, there's more to making good movies than finding the right ingredients...you also have to know how to cook, marinate and mix it all together to make it work just right.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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