Home »  Magazine »  Arts & Entertainment  »  Showtime


Two cheeseburgers and one Big Gulp with a gun stuck in it are not enough to make this a big-cheese parody of cop shows or junk food realities.

Starring: Robert De Niro, Eddie Murphy, Rene Russo, William Shatner
Director: Tom Dey
Rating: **

In a superb tweaking of the 48 Hours cast, pairing Eddie Murphy with De Niro instead of Nick Nolte, this movie should send you dashing out and pumping butter over jumbo popcorn. But before you can hum Axel F for Murphy, a Beverly Hills cop, fourth time around, he goes from cop to detective because this is Showtime, a hood-jumping, car-chasing flycam spoof of TV cop shows, in which, had everyone put their hearts in it, the laughs would've sounded louder. In this buddy-cop movie, where bad guys have big guns that make Uzis and Mac 20s look like lollipops, the send-up of TV cop shows slips in early. An over-eager Murphy botches up De Niro's assignment. De Niro, caught on a TV camera, shoots its lens inwards. Making De Niro the instant Dirty Harry that the stunning Rene Russo has been prowling around for, to star in her reality cop show. So now, in lieu of turning in his badge, De Niro plays real-time hero for television. Where does Murphy weave in? This is Showtime folks, which needs, as Russo says candidly, "some funny minority type".

If this is America where "everybody wants to be on TV", whom else does director Tom Dey (Shanghai Noon) toss in? Johnny Cochran (OJ's lawyer) as himself. William Shatner as T.J. Hooker, the TV director looking bloaty, overstuffed and puffy, who only coughs out his lines and twitches his eyebrows. Oprah, Starsky and Hutch and Magnum PI don't even make it to screen, they appear only as part of the vocabulary. And you can blow out the candles you're holding for Larry King who never shows up.

Even with gags upgraded with new twists, like a fork lift doubling up as a getaway vehicle that careens drunkenly through LA streets, swimming pools getting shoot-up from under, and a house being bulleted down to debris, nothing makes you hold your breath. All of it seems lifeless under Dey's hammy direction. Same goes for the characters. Murphy is Murphy even when he's hurling hub caps at thieves. He ditches his Axel F laugh totally, giving us no glimpses of his famous dancing epiglottis. More disappointingly, De Niro isn't De Niro—he swings between being disbelieving and just plain dissed about why he is caught in this kerfuffle. This spoof only sparks intermittently, like when Murphy does a great send-up of the Justice Channel. After that Showtime snuffs out by its ending, a throwback to the Redford-Newman buddy movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Two cheeseburgers and one Big Gulp with a gun stuck in it aren't enough to make this a big-cheese parody of cop shows or junk food realities.

Subscribe to Outlook’s Newsletter

Next Story : Veiled Attack
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store
Here in Mumbai, when Faezeh Jalali presents Shikhandi: The story of In-Betweens, the story becomes a brisk, pinching satire about punishing times, then and now.
MAGAZINE April 19, 2018
Movie Review
This biopic of V.P. Sathyan, Kerala’s and India’s football team captain in the ’90s, injects a dose of adrenaline into the veins of a resurgent Kerala
MAGAZINE February 22, 2018
The musical moves from one milestone to the other interspersed with songs and commentary by Boman Irani as the voice of the British Raj.
MAGAZINE April 07, 2017
The story touches upon glamour and the cost it extracts. It's about crime, the afterlife and love...
MAGAZINE March 02, 2017
Watching it as just a movie divorced from the reality around us, Raees offers as many moments of entertainment as tedium in the second half...
MAGAZINE January 25, 2017
Online Casino Betway Banner



A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

or just type initial letters