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A movie directed by Tom Dey

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Its Showtime

  • Mar 13, 2002
Pros: Great Cast and some funny moments.

Cons: Many cliches from buddy cop films.

The Bottom Line: Good cast, funny moments, just nothing original.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

The buddy cop film has been a staple of the action film genre for decades. Comedian Eddie Murphy is no stranger to this genre as he burst onto the big screen with “48 Hours” and “Beverly Hills Cop” and followed them both up with sequels. In recent years Murphy has turned to more family oriented fair such as voce work in “Shrek” and “Mulan” as well as the Dr. Doolittle movies.

The comedian once known for his blazing mouth and language, as well as his uncanny appeal and comic genius has returned to his comedy roots in the new film “Showtime”. Joining Murphy, as the other half of the cop duo is screen legend Robert De Niro as Detective Mitch Preston, a solid cop, who does his job in a no-nonsense style that gets the job done. Murphy plays officer Trey Sellars, a cop who spends most of his time guarding police tape lines on duty, and trying out for acting jobs in his off time. The two are about as opposite as cops can be Mitch is professional and conservative, Sellars is flashy and loud, more style than substance.

The two meet during a botched raid, and end up being captured on film by the local media. Sellars for all the wrong reasons and Preston for shooting the camera that was annoying him by filming the events. Faced with a public relations disaster, the department is offered the chance to have the lawsuit against them dismissed by the network if Mitch will star in a new reality based cop show. Of course Mitch wants no part of this, and all the cajoling by the sexy network exec Chase Renzi (Rene Russo), cant change his mind. In the end, Mitch is forced to do the show by his superiors who want to see an end to the lawsuit. With one half of the team in place, Sellars conducts one of the most original and funny auditions in history. Despite not getting along, the two officers are soon on the case of a gunrunner who is bringing a new type of assault weapon into the market that is deadlier than anything ever created. Of course the two will grow to respect one another, as this is the nature of this type of film. What sets this film apart are the stars, Murphy, De Niro, and Russo have a easy-going chemistry and work very well with one another. De Niro has recently taken comedic turns in “Meet the Parents”, and “Analyze This” and is very good playing the straight man to Murphy. William Shatner has a brief role as himself as he is brought in to teach the two how to look sexy for the camera.

Despite the brevity of his role, it is nice to see Shatner have a sense of humor regarding his T.J. Hooker role and make a few loving jokes centered around it that will make those in the audience who can remember the show laugh. While “Showtime” is not a classic movie as it has a generic plot, stereotypical bad guys, and little new that audiences have not seen before, it is a fun movie, and should more than provide a relaxing and enjoyable time at the movies. The direction by Tom Dey is solid and neither of the leads walks over one another in an attempt to steal scenes. I for one would not mind seeing a sequel as the cast worked, and undoubtedly have some further adventures to show audiences.

3.5 stars out of 5

Gareth Von Kallenbach


Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #111
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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About this movie


SHOWTIME deftly combines clever satire and explosive action, taking the buddy cop movie in a new direction. Robert De Niro stars as Mitch Preston, a no-nonsense detective who makes headlines when he shoots the television camera right out of the hands of a meddlesome photographer during a bust. The department is sued for millions, but a slick producer (Rene Russo) drops the suit to force Mitch to star on the network's new reality series. Trey Sellars (Eddie Murphy), a struggling actor and incompetent patrolman, bamboozles his way into a plum role as Mitch's partner. Mitch is a better cop, but Trey knows a lot more about how to be a TV star. He even comes up with the show's catchphrase: "It's SHOWTIME!" In the film's funniest setpiece, William Shatner is brought in to teach Mitch and Trey how to master important TV cop procedures, like jumping on the hood of a car. Things get more serious as the celebrity cops track down a crazed criminal armed with a powerful new weapon. Director Tom Dey (SHANGHAI NOON) k...
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Cast: Rene Russo
Director: Tom Dey
Release Date: 2002
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: Warner Home Video (August 13, 2002)
Runtime: 1hr 32min
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"Its Showtime"
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