"Pretty funny for such a violent movie, and vice versa."
Big-screen debut of comedian Eddie Murphy and a pretty solid Walter Hill action flick in its own right, 48 Hours begat about 12 dozen ripoffs, knock-offs, and imitators...to say nothing of its own sequel a few years later.48 Hours might not be quite good enough to forgive the plague it carried, but when you throw a joyously gruff Nick Nolte into the mix - the flick’s more than entertaining enough.
The plot is nothing more than a mildly clever cop-flick diversion: a no-nonsense cop has to pair up with a convict in an effort to catch a particularly nasty killer. That’s pretty much it, though a framework this sketchy may have been by design, as the film’s best asset is simply the chemistry between the two leading men.
Murphy’s rambunctious bar sequence must be seen to be believed, a few action scenes keep the flick moving along briskly, and an impressive cast of familiar character actors (Brion James, James Remar, Frank McRae) fill out the background effectively.
Watch it tonight, and 48 Hours may seem panfully dated and more than a little familiar, but keep in mind that this one hit the screns in 1982 - when a buddy/cop flick was actually a novel proposition.Even on its own merits, this is not a great movie, but there’s something to be said for genre flicks well-conceived, even if they’re kinda flimsy in the plot department. Plus there are few things funnier than an appearance by the young Eddie Murphy.