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SHOWTIME

SYNOPSIS:
Mitch Preston (Robert De Niro) is a respected and serious detective but with a lifestyle problem and a shortish fuse. Patrol Officer Trey Sellars (Eddie Murphy) is a wanna be actor cop, whose approach to arrests begins with the self-pumping, ‘it’s showtime!’ They are thrown together when Mitch blasts away at a camera after Trey stumbles into his undercover drug bust, and the resultant press gets the LA Police Dept unwanted notoriety – and Mitch instant fame. Opportunistic tv producer Chase Renzi (Rene Russo) grabs the chance for a reality tv cop show like no other, with grumpy Mitch as the lead and Trey as his unlikely offsider.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
There’s nothing wrong with formula, as long as the filmmakers get the formula right and audiences are not treated as idiots. Showtime is a formulaic buddy cop comedy drama that wishes it had the smarts of a Lethal Weapon, the effortless comedy of Shanghai Noon …director Tom Dey’s snappy debut feature. So he can do it, but he needs the right script. Here, the buddy cop genre is the outer vehicle for what starts out as a spoof on so called reality tv shows. The satire possibilities are tried and tasted but never developed into a complete dish. Or did they simply vanish after some suits got nervous? If that’s the case, they deserve to fail: failure of nerve has ruined too many creative possibilities. Here is one of the greatest screen actors of our time with one of the acknowledged comedic masters, supported by a ravishing and talented Rene Russo, yet the film’s grip on our interest is weak. Maybe the filmmakers realised this when mixing the sound, cranking up the volume to get our attention back. Speaking of the casting, the fun in having such opposites play opposites would have been to push the satire in the characterisations, too. Instead, De Niro plays the stereotypical cop on his way to burn-out via a divorce and home pottery, all in a ramshackle apartment. This is symbolic of the lack of originality in the screenplay. It goes on to the characters and settings of the baddie (not another nightclub!) and an extended scene of car crash mayhem that adds absolutely nothing to the film’s value. Not for me, anyway. Showtime is barely passable, and only because De Niro and Russo bring their own class to an expensive and noisy but otherwise forgettable piece of entertainment.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

TRAILER

SHOWTIME (M)
(US)

CAST: Robert De Niro, Eddie Murphy, Rene Russo, Pedro Damian, William Shatner, Drena De Niro

PRODUCER: Jane Rosenthal, Jorge Saralegui

DIRECTOR: Tom Dey

SCRIPT: Jorge Saralegui, Keith Sharon, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Thomas Kloss

EDITOR: Billy Weber

MUSIC: Alan Silvestri

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jeff Mann

RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 28, 2002







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