Older but not especially wiser, Lecce and Reimers are back to do it again in this amiably undemanding sequel to the 1987 hit, STAKEOUT.
Working an undercover police detail in Seattle, Lecce (Richard Dreyfuss) and Reimers (Emilio Estevez) are abruptly pressed back into stakeout service when the prime government witness in a mob case disappears after a fiery attempt on her life in a Las Vegas "safe" house. The witness, Lu Delano
(Cathy Moriarty) is thought to be hiding out with the O'Haras (Marcia Strassman, Dennis Farina) on scenic Bainbridge Island, and the assignment to watch the O'Hara house for signs of Delano is straightforward enough until the duo learn they are to be supervised by federal prosecutor Gina Garrett
Creating further complications is Lecce's now-rocky relationship with Maria (Madeleine Stowe, uncredited despite her substantial supporting role). Lecce's quarry-turned-love interest from his earlier adventure, Maria is now so impatient with Lecce's inability to commit that she's gone home to
her mother and is considering a move to Vera Cruz to take a new job. While trying to patch things up with Maria, Lecce and Reimers must also contend with Gina, who keeps threatening to blow their cover by doing such things as inviting the O'Haras over for dinner. Lecce tries to take advantage of
the dinner by sending Reimers to plant a bug in the O'Hara house. However, he is knocked out by Delano, who mistakes him for a mob killer. She is about to finish off Reimers and drop him off a pier when Lecce and Gina arrive to save him and take Delano into custody.
When Delano insists on seeing the O'Haras before being taken away, a real mob killer (Miguel Ferrer) shows up at their house, tipped by a crooked government lawyer (John Rubinstein). Gina is wounded when she takes a bullet meant for Delano, but the distraction allows Lecce and Reimers to get the
drop on the hitman. After wrapping the case, Lecce arrives back at his apartment to find Maria waiting for him while Reimers spies on them from the street.
John Badham may never make another film as pointed as SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER or his earlier telemovies. But when it comes to putting a talented cast together and through their paces, he has few peers in mainstream moviemaking. ANOTHER STAKEOUT's requisite action sequences are exciting and help
compensate for the less than tight plotting of scenarist Jim Kouf's script. The climax, in particular, depends upon Delano's inability to recognize either Lecce or Reimers as cops despite having had to wrestle with both of them the night before. It also depends upon Delano's insistence on bringing
her entire federal entourage to the O'Haras' front door after earlier taking pains to conceal their role in helping her elude the mob and the feds. After all that, the O'Haras inexplicably aren't even home, presumably because their presence would only complicate the climax.
Dreyfuss and Estevez tackle their roles like the seasoned pros they are, and while neither Kouf nor Badham gives them much room to breathe, their buddy bonding never becomes grating. Stowe spends most of the film standing around and talking on the phone to Dreyfuss, perhaps because her jeans are
so tight that to sit down would be to risk catastrophe. Dreyfuss scores laughs with a spoof on his famed pantyhose rant from THE GOODBYE GIRL, and O'Donnell is consistently the funniest of the trio (thanks to her own flawless comic timing and to her good luck in having some of the film's choicest
bits), but Farina gets the film's single biggest laugh as he shovels down an ice cream sandwich in record time so he and his wife can escape dinner-from-hell with the cops, whose farcical efforts to maintain their cover make them appear an offshoot of the Manson family. Exhausted though the
action-cop-buddy-comedy genre is, ANOTHER STAKEOUT manages to be fairly entertaining.
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