The Man

Oh, what 48 HRS (1982) and BEVERLY HILLS COP (1984) have wrought! This lazy, formulaic crime comedy-buddy movie pairs goofball Eugene Levy and the fearsome Samuel L. Jackson on the mean streets of Detroit, and while it wouldn't be accurate to say hilarity ensues, the chemistry between them almost transcends the film's shopworn "opposites repel" conceit....read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Oh, what 48 HRS (1982) and BEVERLY HILLS COP (1984) have wrought! This lazy, formulaic crime comedy-buddy movie pairs goofball Eugene Levy and the fearsome Samuel L. Jackson on the mean streets of Detroit, and while it wouldn't be accurate to say hilarity ensues, the chemistry between them almost transcends the film's shopworn "opposites repel" conceit. By the sort of contrivance that gives crime comedies a bad name, mild-mannered dental-supplies salesman Andy Fiddler (Levy), in Detroit for a convention, is taken for cock-of-the-walk ATF agent Derrick Vann (Jackson) by smirking arms-dealer Joey (Luke Goss), who's sitting on a very hot cache of high-powered weaponry, and for an armed robber by the waitress and diner patrons who see him pull one of the stolen guns from a paper bag. Joey is hell-bent on moving the merchandise and getting out of town as soon as possible. Vann is hell-bent on busting the gunrunner and his pals, who included Vann's deeply dirty partner before they killed him. And Internal Affairs watchdog Peters (Miguel Ferrer) is hell-bent on proving that Vann is as dirty as his partner was. Poor pacifist Andy is trapped smack-dab in the middle of all this testosterone-fueled hell. Since Joey thinks Andy is an underworld mover and shaker nicknamed "the Turk," Vann intends to make Andy be the Turk until he can nail Joey and company with the ill-gotten goods. The thoroughly confused Peters and his team have no idea who this Turk guy is, but if he's palling around with Vann, he's probably guilty of something, so they're keeping close tabs on all developments. And so Vann and Andy cruise around Detroit in Andy's undercover wheels, intimidating informers, playing cat-and-mouse games with Joey and finding bullet-riddled corpses. Milquetoast Andy whimpers and street-smart Vann blusters. Vann teaches Andy to act tough and Andy gives Vann a few pointers about being a better father. Andy teaches Van to say "fu... crying out loud" instead of cussing a blue streak, and Vann instructs Andy in the finer points of intimidating evidence-room clerks and bluffing stone-cold killers. Everything turns out for the best (except for the aforementioned snitch, a snippy drug dealer and Vann's partner, but they were bad), and heartwarming lessons are learned. If it weren't for the running flatulence gag, the whole silly business might be mistaken for slight, clean, fast-moving fun.

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  • Released: 2005
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Oh, what 48 HRS (1982) and BEVERLY HILLS COP (1984) have wrought! This lazy, formulaic crime comedy-buddy movie pairs goofball Eugene Levy and the fearsome Samuel L. Jackson on the mean streets of Detroit, and while it wouldn't be accurate to say hilarity… (more)

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