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Overall Rating

Awesome: 28.07%
Worth A Look68.42%
Average: 3.51%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

4 reviews, 33 user ratings

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48 HRS.
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by Chris Parry

"It's hard to believe this still great flick was made in 1982."
4 stars

There’s a new sheriff in town. Or at least, a new comedy action hero. When 48 Hours was conceived as a 1982 buddy cop movie, there were a few options that producers were keen on for the lead role opposite Nick Nolte. The first was Sylvester Stallone. When he refused, they considered Burt Reynolds. When he refused, they went for Richard Pryor. When Pryor opted instead to snort cocaine off a hooker’s butt for the entire of 1982, they plumped for Gregory Hines. He decided that The Cotton Club would be a better career move. So the producers went for former SNL comic Eddie Murphy, being as nobody else in town would touch their script. Three weeks later, they sacked Murphy when they thought someone else was interested. Then they rehired Murphy when it became clear he was the only guy who’d take the role. The rest is history.

Murphy blazed across the screen in this pretty much formula cop flick, giving life, humor, color (literally) and attitude to a genre that was more used to Roy Scheider and Charles Bronson. And not only did the film explode at the box office, it spawned a sequel (Another 48 Hrs) and a few very similar other cop flicks where Murphy was again the wise-cracking man of the law (Beverly Hills Cop 1 & 2) – which earned in excess of half a billion 1980’s dollars between them. You have to think Gregory Hines might have had trouble repeating that effort.

So Murphy plays Reggie Hammond, a con who is dragged out of prison to help a cop of questionable ethics (Nick Nolte) in the search for a former partner of Murphy’s who gunned down some of Nolte’s cop buddies. Hammond has no intention of running, being as said bad guy (James Remar) has a bunch of money that belongs to him, so the unlikely pairing take off for a 48 hour investigation.

To be honest, as cliché as the concept for this flick is, and as much as the black/white cop pairing has been done to death a million times since (we even have Asian/black pairings these days), for it’s time this was some pretty risqué stuff. Perhaps showing a little age, some of the dialogue is racist to the core, with Nolte calling Murphy ‘watermelon’ and the like, but there’s no doubt that the writers let Murphy be the hero – a move not often replicated in white-centric Hollywood at the time. Murphy’s sense of humor most definitely shows through, with some of the dialogue almost seeming ad-libbed, and to his credit Nick Nolte seems more than happy to play off his co-star rather than elbow him aside for glory.

The two work very well together, and Murphy’s rawness only serves to make him more likeable. As he became more famous and ridiculously well-paid, Murphy became as glossy as unsympathetic as any other A-list star, leading to his present day status as a name to crank out when you need a wise-cracking voiceover role filled. If only to see how things used to be and how talented the guy actually is (or was), this is worth a rental.

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originally posted: 01/11/03 10:44:15
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User Comments

11/17/17 morris campbell a funny gritty cassic 4 stars
10/31/09 Jeff Wilder A classic action comedy. Murphy and Nolte are at the top of their game. 5 stars
1/17/08 George Chabot Shamefully underrated. Needs to be recognized as one of the best cop comedies there is. 5 stars
2/06/07 AJ Muller Butch and Sundance may have invented the buddy movie, but this flick perfected it. Classic. 5 stars
12/29/06 David Pollastrini very funny 4 stars
3/24/06 Sugarfoot My favorite Walter Hill masterpiece. Avoid the dull sequel. 5 stars
3/01/06 Quentin Congress This is one of the best action/comedy-buddy movies of the '80s 5 stars
5/21/04 Agent Sands A great movie, and the beginning of the golden age of Eddie Murphy. 4 stars
12/19/03 ROY L. CAIN,JR. The all-time best buddy action movie of the '80's.Impressive debut for Mr. Murphy. 5 stars
11/27/03 John tough, funny, honest and brilliant 5 stars
11/06/03 Tom S one of the best films of all time, they don't make'em like this anymore 5 stars
9/09/03 Laura Stuart I wanted to bitch slap Murphy , and make out with James Remar!!! 5 stars
7/09/03 Sam Moszynski Best cop-buddy movie ever! 5 stars
5/11/03 Andrew Carden Surprisingly Funny Pairing Makes This Comedy Work. Nolte Is FANTASTIC. 4 stars
3/12/03 Butterball Cenobite tons of fun; Nolte and Murphy make a great team; Murphy is hysterical 4 stars
1/15/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik I love this movie. 4 stars
1/11/03 Jack Sommersby A full-throttle, two-fisted, exciting action classic. Nolte & Murphy are a dream team. 5 stars
11/01/02 Stefan Halka There is constant good banter between Nolte and Murphy which makes this film enjoyable. 4 stars
10/18/02 Jay Eddie Murphy's first film. 5 stars
10/16/02 Charles Tatum I just wished someone would shoot either Nolte or Eddie; annoying 3 stars
9/02/02 y2mckay Pre-suck eddie Murphy and gruff Nick Nolte have good buddy-cop chemistry 4 stars
8/22/02 Justin Cool! 5 stars
9/13/01 R.W. Welch The two leads play off each other pretty well; an entertaining outing. 4 stars
8/07/01 Joe Zappa Unlike "Beverly Hills Cop 2," "48 HRS." knows just when 2B serious and just when 2B funny. 4 stars
12/06/00 Cristopher Revilla pretty good buddy move, and funny too 4 stars
9/08/00 Bender Murphy at his best. Hilarious Cop movie. 4 stars
9/04/00 The Extreaminizer Great Action, Great Movie........Starts the Buddy Genre 5 stars
2/06/00 Kyle Broflovski From the days when action-comedies were--*gasp*--original. 5 stars
7/17/99 soccer_mum Classic Eddie Murphy.......Worth a look. 4 stars
7/10/99 Ben Leostein Rating: **½ (out of ****) Category: "Above Average" 4 stars
4/11/99 Michael Grimm Eddie Murphy in a good movie, go figure 4 stars
4/07/99 Cool Thing Eddie Murphy's finest hour. 5 stars
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  02-Feb-1983 (R)
  DVD: 12-Dec-2003


  02-Jul-1983 (MA)

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