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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

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.