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BLUE STREAK

SYNOPSIS:
When the heist of a $20 million diamond goes awry, jewel thief Miles Logan (Martin Lawrence) stashes the rock in an air conditioning duct of a partially completed building. After serving a two year prison term Logan returns to the now-completed building, only to discover it now houses the Los Angeles 37th Police Precinct. Refusing to accept defeat, Logan decides to infiltrate the building by impersonating a detective. The plan succeeds initially but before he can locate the diamond Logan inadvertently apprehends a dangerous escaped suspect and is immediately placed on assignment with the inexperienced Carlson (Luke Wilson). Under the nom de police of Detective Malone, Logan's new 'career' is a brilliant success, frustrating his efforts to retrieve the diamond. The re-appearance of his double-crossing former partner Deacon (Peter Greene) adds to complications, climaxing in a major drug sting involving the LAPD, Federal agents and Logan's former criminal cohorts.

"The 'Flubber', 'Encino Man' and 'Miracle On 34th St' pedigree of director Les Mayfield serves immediate notice that sophistication isn't what Blue Streak is going to be about. You could be forgiven for thinking Mayfield might be making a step up in class after the nifty diamond heist scene which opens the film but that's as good as it gets. As for Martin Lawrence, you either like his brand of 48hrs\Beverly Hills Cop era Eddie Murphy motor-mouth humour or, like me, you find it tiresome. A good test is the scene involving Lawrence disguised as a buck-toothed pizza boy trying to sneak into the cop station. If you laugh at that during the trailer you'll probably enjoy the film. Blue Streak feels like a throwback to the 'golden age' (if that term can be applied) of 1980's cop/buddy movies and not a very good one at that. You know the drill: wise-guy crook or hustler of some description (preferably African-American, for added jive-talk opportunities) hooks up with straight-laced career cop for mass destruction of public and private property while hard-nosed chief gives them 36, 48 or maybe 72 hours to bust the case, which they do in finale employing half of Hollywood's stuntman community. Nothing wrong with that when it's done with the zing of 48hrs or The Last Boy Scout but this just plods along from one overly familiar scene to the next. Peter Greene as the villain, William Forsythe as a hard-nosed veteran cop and Grahame Beckel as the police chief impressed by Lawrence's criminal knowledge offer some compensation on the sidelines but the main attraction is sorely lacking here."
Richard Kuipers

"There really shouldn't be a lot to like about Blue Streak. It's a by-the-numbers cop buddy picture, the plot stretches credibility to breaking point, it's populated by cardboard cut-out characters, relies much too heavily on the presence of Lawrence to carry it and its moral message is ambiguous at best and dangerous at worst. Yet, for all this, it's a quite enjoyable romp. The film has a kind of bubblegum charm and its breakneck pace is maintained for virtually all its 93 minutes running time. Relying almost entirely on set-piece action sequences to propel it along, this is the cinematic equivalent of junk food - it's OK at the time, but hardly nutritious. Lawrence has moments of true hilarity, but seems a little forced to me - as if he's consciously trying to be funny, when a true comic actor (think Peter Sellers) never looks like there's any effort involved. But he manages to drive the action along at a fair pace with his trademark wisecracks and general goofiness. Probably the most significant thing about the film is that it heralds a welcome return to the mainstream cinema by the talented Peter Greene, after his much-publicised battle with drugs. And he brings a touch of class to proceedings as the vicious Deacon. If you worry too much about little things like plot development and characterisation, you'll probably find Blue Streak a rather tedious exercise. But if you accept it as a trashy soufflé of an action flick, you might have a good time."
David Edwards

"Watching Blue Streak you get some idea of what it must have been like for African Americans to see themselves portrayed for all those years as the bad guy, the dumb guy. In this film, bar one character, it is the white guys who fill all these parts. A refreshing change. Also refreshing is the performance by Martin Lawrence who really carries the movie. It's a pity he is let down by his scriptwriters, Michael Berry and John Blumenthal. Certainly their script is tight enough and the action does move along at a snappy pace. The idea is good: what happens when a guy on the wrong side of the law becomes the law? But what is lacking is a realisation of the comic potential. There are not enough truly funny lines. And a situation which promises site gags galore offers very few. You can almost see the talent of Lawrence going to waste as he does everything he can to get the thing moving. And he almost pulls it off. Lawrence offers a later version of the Eddie Murphy Beverley Hills Cop character. In a similar vein, Luke Wilson gives us a more colourful version of the Judge Reinhold character from the same movie. This very sameness in character suggests formula and this is what Blue Streak is. If you liked Beverly Hills Cop or the Lethal Weapon series give it a go. But don't expect anything new."
Lee Gough

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 2

TRAILER

BLUE STREAK (M)
(US)

CAST: Martin Lawrence, Luke Wilson, Dave Chappelle, Peter Greene

DIRECTOR: Les Mayfield

PRODUCER: Toby Jaffe, Neal H.Moritz

SCRIPT: Michael Berry, John Blumenthal, Steve Carpenter

CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Eggby

EDITOR: Michael Tronick

MUSIC: Edward Shearmur

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bill Brzeski

RUNNING TIME: 127 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 4, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: May 3, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Col TriStar Home Entertainment







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