Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
Starring: Robert De Niro, Eddie Murphy, Rene Russo, Perdro Damian, Drena De Niro | Directed by: Tom Dey | Produced by: Jorge Saralegui, Jane Rosenthal | Written by: Keith Sharon, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar | Distributor: Warner Brothers
There have been several buddy-cop films and TV shows to choose from. If you like that genre, then you no doubt already have your favorites. Personally, I always enjoyed “Chips.” Did you know that in over six years of episodes, neither officer even drew their weapon? Those days seem far away now. The nostalgic distance is increased by films like “Showtime”.
This flic does have some excellent performances, such as the hard-nosed detective part played by Robert De Niro. He’s proven yet again that he plays well against strong comedians. In the past, he teamed up with Billy Crystal in “Analyze This” and who will ever forget his role with Ben Stiller in “Meet the Parents”. Rene Russo also performed well as the pushy but focused TV producer. Eddie Murphy raised a smile or two. All the ingredients are there for a decent trip to the local theater.
The problem is that there is 4 uses of the F-word, an abundance of obscenities and several sexual innuendoes. Andy and Barney (two more favorites) have proven through their timeless classic that offensive material is not necessary. This isn’t a film for the “kiddos.” “Showtime” also has its share of violence.
Our story begins with Detective Mitch Preston (Robert De Niro) on the verge of a drug bust. The problem is LAPD officer Trey Sellars (Eddie Murphy) does not realize he is undercover. Just as he calls in for backup, the local news picks up the action on the scanner. The drug deal goes south and a frustrated Preston uses his weapon to blow up a television camera (I know—it probably happens every day). His action causes great embarrassment to the police force. So Detective Preston is forced to help the network craft a new reality-based TV show. His reluctance and resistance are magnified when he learns that Officer Sellars will be his partner in the show. The best part of all this nonsense is that William Shatner is the director and plays himself. He is hilarious as he pokes fun at himself and his past role as TJ Hooker.
Director Tom Dey (“Shanghai Noon”) once again turns in another flat “whatcouldabeen” film. Just skip this one. There are quite a few decent films coming out… why waste your time on “average” wrapped up in offensiveness?