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Overall Rating

Awesome: 8.82%
Worth A Look: 14.71%
Pretty Bad: 14.71%
Total Crap: 17.65%

2 reviews, 22 user ratings

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Showtime (2002)
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by EricDSnider

"Show's over, folks. Nothing to see here. Move it along."
3 stars

At some point, "Showtime" stops being a parody of generic buddy-cop movies and starts being a generic buddy-cop movie. Once things get difficult, it retreats hastily to the safety of familiarity.

While the good times last, they are good indeed, and the film is even entertaining (if forgettable) when it's being lazy. It's about an L.A. cop named Trey (Eddie Murphy) who wants desperately to be an actor. It's also about an L.A. police detective named Mitch (Robert DeNiro) who wants nothing to do with the limelight. TV producer Chase Renzi (Rene Russo) wants to create a reality series in which a camera crew follows Mitch around and catches him being surly and angry -- he is the L.A. version of "NYPD Blue's" Sipowicz -- and thanks to some particularly volatile behavior from Mitch, he either has to agree to be filmed or else get sued.

Naturally, the most interesting partner for him on his new reality show would be someone completely opposite, and so Trey gets his 15 minutes of fame. The case they're working has to do with an especially deadly new gun being passed around on the black market, but that sort of detail couldn't be more irrelevant.

What's fun, allegedly, is the opposites-attract interaction between Trey and Mitch, except that we've seen this exact situation before. So what's fun is how they're mocking that kind of set-up, except they don't mock it enough. "Showtime" is too much of one thing and not enough of the other.

But there are high points. William Shatner, who is wise enough now to realize his best work will be in parodying himself, plays himself as the director of the show, giving Mitch and Trey acting tips. There is a world of subtextual comedy in hearing Shatner say, in regards to DeNiro's character, "This guy is a terrible actor."

And admit it, the casting couldn't be better. Eddie Murphy invented the fast-talking cool black guy persona that has since been abused by the likes of Chris Tucker and Martin Lawrence; casting anyone other than him in the role of Trey would have been a crime. Ditto for DeNiro as the tough cop.

There is no particular reason to see this film, but there's no reason to avoid it, either. It provides a few laughs and a bit of worthless amusement -- not exactly a ringing endorsement, but fairly charitable, given how badly it squanders its opportunities for greatness.

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originally posted: 07/06/03 19:51:20
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User Comments

11/23/09 Jeff Wilder how utterly boring it is. 1 stars
6/01/05 manjit singh awesome/fine/nice 5 stars
4/14/04 beem loved it. more great work from eddie 5 stars
1/06/04 Monster W. Kung More like 2,5... when it tries to take itself seriously, it sucks. 3 stars
9/06/03 Dimitri Aubert Come on, it's for a laugh... 4 stars
5/27/03 mr. Pink De Niro will do just about anything, but still....Why this piece of shit??!!!! 1 stars
3/22/03 Jack Sommersby Is there ANY script De Niro won't accept? 1 stars
10/27/02 MarktheShark6 Not quite what I expected from De Niro or Eddie in a movie. A total let-down of a film. 2 stars
10/08/02 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng The Hard Way meets EDTV. A winner! 4 stars
9/07/02 JesseL Formula, done badly. Made Eddie look like a cartoon of himself, and Deniro, wooden. 2 stars
9/02/02 AshFan Call me weird, but this is a funny movie with great ideas. 5 stars
8/27/02 ownerofdajoint deniroandmurphymakeitworthwile....... 4 stars
6/06/02 Priscilla Postlethwaite So-so; slow getting off. Russo back to her cockily wooden pre-Thomas Crown persona. 3 stars
6/02/02 Chris It can't decised whether it wants to be a comdey or action and fails on both because of it 2 stars
5/12/02 Doc Holiday It's SHOWTIME!!!!! 1 stars
4/03/02 The Alter Ego PIECE OF SHIT. 1 stars
4/01/02 spaceworm They had a script, correct? 2 stars
3/22/02 Mr. Hat (I'm Back!) For some reason, I've always wanted to see De Niro and Eddie Murphy do a movie together. 4 stars
3/21/02 Xalt No expectations. Funny flick. 3 stars
3/18/02 kishuta I laughed more than I thought I would. A pretty decent buddy cop movie. 4 stars
3/18/02 SJKelley Remarkably poor directing decisions and rough-draft script wastes star power once again. 2 stars
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  15-Mar-2002 (PG-13)



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