This film has aged quite a lot, especially since the whole “buddy cop” formula has been done to death like ten thousand times since Lethal Weapon a few years later on after this flick, but it still holds up since it’s quite an enjoyable ride, and it has Eddie Murphy before he went pussy and Nick Nolte before he went drunk-ass crazy.Simple plot: Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) is hungry for revenge after two of his partners get killed while trying to bust escaped convicts Albert Ganz (James Remar) and Billy Bear (Sonny Landham). In order to do that, he reluctantly has to team up with Ganz’s former associate Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) who is still in jail, but is granted a 48 hour leave in order to help with the case, and soon they realize that Ganz and Billy Bear are after the $500,000 that they stole before they got busted… and Reggie has that money.
The whole premise works around with some very funny scenes courtesy of Murphy’s comedic talent, which is highlighted in the now famous bar scene where Reggie hollers out his famous leitmotif “there’s a new sheriff in town.” Despite that though, there's a lot of racial driven pot shots and foul language that may not sit very well with people even though I personally had no problem with it (and it may not sit well at all in our times since this cliché has been regurgitated forever in several other comedies).
There are also several well-staged action sequences depicted in a very honest way thanks to the gritty and shitty side of San Francisco settings, courtesy of Ric Waite’s cinematography, and the sure-handed direction of Walter Hill, which pretty much proves that you don't always need huge explosions or gun blazing gunfights to make a cool action film.
Murphy and Nolte though are the ones that chug this film along, as their mutual differences are constantly at a head-on course climaxing halfway into a fight between the two, which is probably the most hilarious scene on the movie.
Personally though, I like it more when Cates's boss Haden (Frank McRae) screams out at Reggie: YOU GO FUCK YOURSELF CONVICT!!!In the end, this one of those films that now in our times falls almost into the “curiosity bin,” because the damn buddy cop formula has been done like a thousand times. But nevertheless it remains an exception for two reasons: Its damn good entertainment and Eddie Murphy kicks ass. Or at least he used to. 3.5-5