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3.5 out of 5 stars
Showtime
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2002
In fact, just by watching the trailers you know what it's going to be about. It's about the pairing of two cops for a TV show. These cops are polar opposites of each other in terms of personality and skill. Each, however, complements the other towards the end, and they solve a big case.
Showtime was meant to be a action-comedy. There was a good mix of both. As usual, you see Eddie Murphy providing comic relief with what he says and does. His role as a patrolman and actor-wannabe lets him shine. He's constantly talking and screwing up. Robert de Niro plays the uptight stuck-up cop who hates change and people.
After a stressful day at work, this movie was great for relaxing and having a few laughs.
LEAP rating (each out of 5):
L (Language) - 3 (no unnecessary cursing)
E (Erotica) - 0 (no romance involved either)
A (Action) - 3 (very tame chase scenes, a lot of talking)
P (Plot) - 1 (non-existent, ok ok, it's very simple)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2002
If you've seen the trailer for this movie, you pretty much know what to expect, because what you see here is what you get. And even if you haven't seen the previews, it won't take you long to pick up on what you're in for-- specifically, a good time and plenty of laughs-- from this clever satire of "Reality TV" shows and "Buddy Cop" movies, "Showtime," directed by Tom Dey, starring Robert De Niro and Eddie Murphy.
Mitch Preston (De Niro) is a detective with the L.A.P.D., and he's good at what he does; but working a case one night, things suddenly go south when another cop, Trey Sellars (Murphy), inadvertently intervenes, a television news crew shows up and Mitch loses his cool, which results in a lawsuit by the television station that's going to cost the department some big bucks. Except that they may be able to get around it, thanks to Chase Renzi (Rene Russo), who works for the station and likes what she sees in Mitch-- enough to pitch an idea to her boss for a "Reality" cop show, that would feature none other than Mitch Preston, whom Chase sees as a real life "Dirty Harry."
Her boss likes the idea and gives Chase the green light. Now all she has to do is convince Mitch to participate, which shouldn't be too hard, since the station has agreed to drop the lawsuit if he will do the show. But Mitch is a cop, not an actor, and he wants nothing to do with any of it-- that is until he has a heart-to-heart with his boss, Captain Winship (Frankie Faison), who puts Mitch's future into succinct perspective for him. And just like that, the show is on. Oh, yes, there's one more thing; for the show, Mitch is going to need a partner. And who do you suppose they're going to come up with for that? Let's put it this way: Trey Sellars is more than one of the usual suspects.
This is Dey's second film as a director, his first being "Shanghai Noon,"-- also a comedy-- and he's definitely showing a penchant for the genre. From the opening frames he establishes a pace that keeps the story moving right along, and he allows his stars to make the most of their respective talents and personal strengths, including their impeccable timing. With stars like De Niro and Murphy, Dey, of course, had a leg up on this project to begin with, but he's the one who keeps it on track, demonstrating that he knows what works, achieving just the right blend of physical comedy and action, and employing the subtleties of the dialogue to great effect.
There isn't a more natural actor in the business than De Niro, and he steps into Mitch's skin like he was born to it. And after years of doing hard-edge, cutting drama (in which he turned in one remarkable performance after another), with such films as "Analyze This," "Meet the Parents" and now this one, he has firmly established his proficiency for doing comedy, as well. Mitch is not an especially complex character; he is, in fact, something of an "ordinary" guy, but therein lies the challenge for the actor-- to make him believable, to make him seem like the guy who could be your neighbor and just another member of the community. And on all counts, De Niro succeeds. He's Mitch, the guy you run into at the grocery store or the bank, or say "good morning" to on your way to work; who likes to watch the game on TV and has a life, just like you and me, who happens to make his living by being a cop. It's the character Mitch has to be to make this film work, because it makes the "ordinary guy in extraordinary circumstances" angle credible. It's one of those role-- and work-- that is often wrongly dismissed out-of-hand, because it looks so easy; and, of course, this is what makes De Niro so exceptional-- he does make it look easy, and he does it with facility.
As Trey Sellars, Eddie Murphy turns in a winning performance, as well, and it's a role that fits him like the proverbial glove. Trey is a cop, but also an aspiring actor-- and a bad one-- and it gives Murphy the opportunity to play on the over-exuberant side of his personality (reigned in enough by Dey, however, to keep him from soaring over-the-top into Jim Carrey territory), which works perfectly for this character and this film. From his melodramatic take on a part during an audition, to his throwing out of one-liners-- delivered by looking directly into the camera (which as far as he's concerned isn't even there) while filming the "reality" show-- Murphy's a riot. And he has a chemistry with De Niro that really clicks (which is not unexpected, as this is another of De Niro's many talents; his ability to connect with and bring out the best in his co-stars, all of whom-- evidence will support-- are better at their craft after having worked with him, including the likes of Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken and Ed Harris, just to name a few). Most importantly, this is a part that allows Murphy to excel at what he does best, and he certainly makes the most of it.
Russo makes the most of her role as Chase, too, a character who isn't much of a stretch artistically, but whom she presents delightfully, with a strong, believable performance. And William Shatner (playing himself) absolutely steals a couple of scenes as the director of the show.
The supporting cast includes Drena De Niro (Annie), Pedro Damian (Vargas) and James Roday (Camera Man). Well crafted and delivered, "Showtime" is a comedy that's exactly what it is meant to be: Pure entertainment that provides plenty of laughs and a pleasant couple of hours that will have you chuckling for some time after. It's the magic of the movies.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2002
Format: DVD
Showtime is you normal average buddy cop movie about two complete opposite cop's being parterned with each other againest there will.You've seen that already.Except this time it has two very funny actors(Eddie Murphey,and Robert De Niro)to double the fun.
The Plot:Mitch Preston is a police officer who is very serious about his work and doesn't mess around much.Trey Sellars is a cop who doesn't take his work that serious but he is a entertaining actor.When Mitch shoots a video news camera that is filming a wounded officer the Maxis tv network sues the precient if Mitch doesn't do a relaity tv cop show that Chase Rense a producer came up with.Mitch is stuck and has to do it.
Trey applies for the part as Mitch's partner and gets it.Mitch doesn't like Trey because he treats his job so easily.Mitch and Trey get camera tips from T.J.Hooker(William Shatner playing himself)and Mitch still doesn't take his acting seriouly.On the other hand Trey is doing wonderful and the public love him.
In just about every movie there is a bad guy and in this movie the bad guy has a gun that could do mass detruction.It is a custom made gun that Mitch and Trey have to track down before more people die.
The preveiws made Showtime look like fun movie which it is.Hignlights in the movie include a car chase,the Showtime TV show booth confessionals,and the William Shatner scene.If you think the Showtime commerical's look dumb and your expecting a dumb prediable comendy your wrong.So see Showtime now.
ENJOY!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2003
Format: DVD
This movie is funny and entertaining and doesn't take itself too seriously since it makes fun of other old tired cop movies out there, and surely pokes fun at itself. Murphy is a cop who wants to be an actor. Deniro is a detective who punches out a camera man and is forced to become part of a "cops" like TV show. Murphy auditions and gets the part as his partner and the two couldn't be more different. They rub each other the wrong way and while Murphy is trying to look good on the show to land a big acting job, Deniro is trying to be a typical cop. Its humorous to watch the interaction between the overacting murphy, who represents the typical police drama, and the serious Deniro who represents real cops. In one scene shatner is showing deniro and Murphy how to do some "hood jumping", Murphy pulls it off like a pro and deniro remarks that hood jumping never happens in real life, but later on we find him hanging on to the hood of a car in a high speed chase. I really like deniro and murphy together, and though murphy isn't the best actor, it doesn't really come out in the movie, because he's playing the part of a poor actor trying to act like a "TV" cop the whole time. The only problem I have with the movie is the ending with the camera since its not very believable. The acting is ok, the plot is interesting, but the humor and satirical irony are what kept me interested, and even if you don't "get it" and like simple movies, you'll enjoy and laugh at this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2002
Format: DVD
This was an interesting comedy that looks at how the media can overwhelm fighting crime. Deniro and Murphy are joined together to make a action-packed crime fighting television show that follows the pair on actual crimes and investigations. Eddie Murphy was very entertaining as usual and it was fun to see Robert Deniro take his well known 'serious side' and try to loosen up. Eddie Murphy in this movie tries to play to the camera while Robert Deniro can't stand being filmed or being on television which makes for a conflicting dual which puts the fun into this movie. I was impressed with this movie and liked the appearance from William Shatner which I thought made the movie even more funny! This movie never drags and there are many laughs that await you!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 16, 2002
Showtime is the Reality-TV era's answer to Cop/Buddy movies like the Lethal Weapon series. When a dedicated detective (Robert De Niro) shoots a TV camera during a bust, the Network offers the LAPD a choice: A lawsuit, or the use of De Niro for a reality based show. The camera-shy de Niro is not thrilled, to say the least. And when he finds out that he will be partnered up with Trey "Ice Trey" Sellers, a frustrated (Bad!) Actor/Beat Cop, the fur starts to fly.
Murphy and De Niro are on the trail of a vicious Club Owner who is in posession of a batch of specially made guns; They fire such large rounds that they are capable of knocking down houses. You can imagine what they'll do to a bullet-proof vest...
Showtime has some really great action sequences; The climax was actually something that I had never seen before in a movie. Points for originality! The real selling point is the pairing of Eddie Murphy and Robert de Niro. The two are priceless when they are onscreen together, and there are more laugh-out-loud moments in this film than I could count. (Sequel, PLEASE!!!!) William Shatner plays himself in a small cameo: He's there to teach the guys how to act like TV Cops- Hood Jumping, Door Rolling, etc. Just the spectacle of seeing Shatner, Murphy & De Niro in the same scene is funny....
And make sure to stick around for the outtake reel after the film ends. Great stuff! There should be one HELL of a DVD for this film....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I found this movie to be simply fantastic! Personally I think I am a very very tough critic....Am shocked that so many find the film so-so...... De Niro was his same ole same ole outstanding. Eddie Murphy was sometimes a little wierd, but overall as the sidekick was excellent. Rene Russo had a few zzzzzzzzzoring sceens, but again like all other cast, really made the film enjoyable, START TO FINISH!!!!!!!!!!! I give it a solid 8 outta 10, Heck I even bought the soundtrack I like it so much....Cheers Vintage Man in California
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
"Showtime" is a fun comedy starring two movie stars who I never thought I would see paired: Eddie Murphy and Robert Deniro.
They made a great pair and a good chemistry working together as two cops who are on a reality t.v. show (think: cops & big brother mixed together). Deniro's character, Mitch Preston, wants nothing to do with it, and Murphy's character, Trey Sellars, is an actor as well as police officer, is pysched to be working as an actor. Even thought their characters don't really have much in common, they somehow seem to blend well together and balance each other out.
Mitch is divorced and spends much of his spare time doing pottery, this does little to add to the plot, but is more of a sideline.
Trey is a quick talking, "dumb" cop type, who is trying really hard to be an actor along side his career as an officer of the law.
Rene Russo is the only other name in this snappy little comedy. She plays Chase Renzi, a pushy t.v. journalist who wants to use Trey and Mitch to her advantage to get ratings. Not her usual kind of role, she pulls it off anyway. She does a great job in
her supporting role.
This was a genuinely good comedy, and I really liked it. I laughed a lot!!!! It was really funny.
Even though it is somewhat predictable, it is also a very entertaining film. There are some good performances here, and I think Murphy and Deniro were great together.
Highly recommend this one for fans of comedy genre, but especially fans of Deniro and Murphy
Eileen Famiglietti
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: VHS Tape
This is a light-hearted buddy movie that is thoroughly enjoyable. Pairing up two greats, Robert De NIro and Eddie Murphy, was pure casting genius, as they generate great chemistry together, making the film an action-comedy worth seeing. Robert De Niro does a great job as straight man for Eddie Murphy.

Robert De Niro plays the role of LAPD Detective Mitch Preston, a hard-boiled, no nonsense flatfoot, who knows the streets and knows how to do his job. Eddie Murphy plays the role of Officer Trey Sellars, a patrolman who also moonlights as a would be actor, talentless though he may be, as he would rather play a cop than be a cop.

Rene Russo, as gorgeous as ever, plays the role of television executive, Chase Renzi, who needs a hit show. She wants to do a cop reality show, and due to circumstances that present themselves, Detective Mitch Preston and Officer Trey Sellars have been tagged to foot that bill. Forced to work together, followed by television camera crews, the two become instant celebrities, much to Detective Preston's chagrin and Officer Sellars' delight.

William Shatner is in the film, playing himself as the actor who played cop T.J. Hooker on a television series of the same name. Shatner is up to snuff and very funny. Look for Alex Borstein of Mad TV fame in the small role of the casting director. Look also for Johnnie Cochran in a cameo role.

Taken at face value, this is an action-comedy, buddy movie that is quite enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2004
Format: DVD
Not only the best cop comedy movie ever, but one of the best comedies out there, the best Eddie Murphy movie ever (at least of the dozen or so I've seen), and I'd even go so far as to say it's one of the best Robert DeNiro movies ever. "Showtime" - the name of the film as well as of the reality tv show within the movie - stars Murphy as an inept, action-movie inspired junior cop who moonlights as an aspiring actor, and DeNiro as a more capable cop who ends up in trouble with his superiors after getting into a scuffle with the media. In order to avoid a lawsuit, the police department have to make DeNiro star in a new reality tv series that'll follow he and brand-new partner Murphy (chosen specifically by the producers because DeNiro doesn't want to work with Murphy, who previously botched a major operation by trying some overly flamboyant heroics he apparantly saw in a movie) on their appointed rounds. Great comedy ensues, with appearances by Rene Russo as the show's producer and William Shatner as himself (brought in to give DeNiro acting lessons!) in a small but brilliant part. One of the very best comedies in years, and a much better action movie than most (but not all) big-budget summer blockbusters. One of the few repeatedly-laugh-out-loud movies in too long.
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