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Showtime

Showtime

Robert DiNiro is quite good when making fun of his own macho reputation.  Here he plays hard-nosed LAPD detective Mitch Prestor.

After shooting at a cameraman's camera which had been following him too closely during a drug bust, his boss makes him star in a new weekly reality TV series like "Cops" to give the police department a public relations boost.

Rene Russo plays Chase, the gung-ho producer of "Showtime," who likes Mitch's tough-guy approach to police work, but wants to hire an on-air partner for him who has a bit of flash.  Along comes Trey Sellars (Eddie Murphy), part-time patrolman/part-time actor, who hits all of his marks, says his lines with dramatic gusto, and smiles on cue; too bad Mitch can't stand him.

There's the requisite bad guy drug dealer, the car chases and the run-ins with police superiors.  Everything you could ask for in an action/comedy.

Murphy, with his exaggerated mugging is fun, but the one that really made me laugh is William Shatner.

The ex T.J. Hooker star plays Showtime's director, and he seems to have bit off more than he can chew when trying to teach Mitch how to be a TV cop.

Whether he's showing Mitch how to say his lines while arching an eyebrow for impact, or when illustrating how to slide off the hood of a police car after it screeches to a stop, a scene in which Shatner slides off the hood flat on his face.  He's a hoot!

The film has some clichés and DiNiro doesn't quite give it his all, but Murphy and Shatner more than make up for that.

 
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Showtime
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C+
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