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Movie Review by Dr Kuma

Starring: Robert De Niro, Eddie Murphy, Rene Russo, William Shatner

Director: Tom Dey

Mitch Preston (Robert De Niro) is a hard edged, no nonsense kind of cop. He spreads the good word of the law to anyone who will listen and preaches sermons to those that haven’t. He follows the law to the letter. However, his forceful ways can land him in hot water and when he shoots a camera filming one of his busts, (lets face it, it was shooting at him- video at least) he lands himself in deep trouble with the TV company who own it. However, instead of suing the NYPD for 10 million, one of the studio execs (Rene Russo) has a great idea. The footage of Mitch in action was so exciting, why not make him star in his own TV show on how he goes about his business, a sort of real life Dirty Harry. Of course all cops have a sidekick, be it a good buddy or dispensable one. So Chase (Russo) hunts for his sidekick within the NYPD. Up steps Trey Sellers (Eddie Murphy) a struggling part-time actor who would rather play a cop on TV than be one in real life. He sets up a meeting with Chase, which although it backfires, shows her that he is the perfect compliment to the camera shy Mitch and thus, in the style of Starsky and Hutch, the latest cop duo is born.

If you can forgive this movie for basically remaking, with slight variation, the Michael J Fox / James Woods 90’s flick THE HARD WAY, there is much to like here. The actors really seem to enjoy themselves and the dialogue is very tight. The villains are predictable, but hey, who cares. When something is this good you suspend disbelief and just sit back and be entertained. The casting of William Shatner who used to play T J Hooker on TV as a director is a nice if heavy-handed touch, but Shatner rises to the occasion. Is he not getting a little tired of parodying himself these days? Obviously not if the out-takes at the end are anything to go by.

I highly recommend this to anyone who needs a laugh and appreciates a decent script wuth good actors hamming it up and playing it to the hilt. Strange to see Eddie Murphy’s name above De Niro’s in the credits. Perhaps this is a sign of the type of audience the film company is aiming at. Probably rightly so.

Dr Kuma’s verdict: It’s Showtime!

5 out of 6 stars