Showtime

"Weak"

Showtime Review


The first 20 minutes of the cop-reality show comedy "Showtime" are ripe with glossy satire. Robert De Niro plays a no-nonsense Los Angeles detective forced to let TV crews follow him on and off the job so the department won't get sued for his assault on a network cameraman. The guy got in his way during a collar.

The new show's producer (Renee Russo) -- a zealous Hollywood power-broad-in-Prada-shoes with her finger forever on the pulse of the latest demographic data -- quickly realizes her high concept is going to implode if grumpy, frumpy De Niro is all the program has to offer. So she recruits him a wisecracking, showboating, fame-seeking partner (Eddie Murphy) from the dregs of the patrol ranks. She redecorates police headquarters and his dumpy apartment, IKEA-style. She hires former "T.J. Hooker" star William Shatner (in a funnier than usual send-up of himself) to coach her reluctant star on the finer points of eyebrow arching and moving car hood-jumping.

But after spending Act One on all this establishing, director Tom Dey ("Shanghai Noon") utterly abandons the picture's fertile, sarcastic, "real cop" concept and allows "Showtime" to become a high-concept hack job of undiluted Hollywood hypocrisy. Suddenly there's a bleach-blonde Euro-trash bad guy (Pedro Damian) who engineers ridiculously extravagant daylight armored car robberies for no apparent reason except to show off his customized uber-machine gun that fires one-inch ammunition. Suddenly unmotivated cars chases erupt out of nowhere, always ending in slow-mo explosion-crashes.

Murphy's wannabe-actor beat cop discovers an actual passion for real police work, of course. De Niro softens, becomes a loose cannon whose badge and gun are demanded by Captain Cliché. The bad guys are chased through crowds, guns-a-blazin' and hostage-takin', even though there's no credible evidence they were involved in any crime (the cops don't see what we see). And, of course, the TV show is a huge hit, leading to a stunt-heavy climax of absurd proportions.

So much potential goes to waste in this ironically trite "Lethal Weapon" rip-off masquerading as a "Lethal Weapon" parody that the movie is all down hill after the laugh-out-loud first scene, in which De Niro gives a barking, dead-serious, tough-guy speech about what it's really like to be a cop ("I've never had to choose between the blue wire and the green wire...") -- to a class of first graders who are scared stiff of him.

Even in an industry like Hollywood filmmaking, built on insincerity and cheap contrivance, it's pathetically sanctimonious to make a satire that becomes, then grossly exceeds, that which it's meant to mock.



Showtime

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 15th March 2002

Box Office USA: $37.9M

Box Office Worldwide: $77.7M

Budget: $85M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 25%
Fresh: 31 Rotten: 91

IMDB: 5.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Det. Mitch Preston, as Lehrerin, as Officer Trey Sellars, Zaid Farid as Polizeichef Ben, as William Shatner

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.