Showtime (2002)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Showtime</strong> (2002)

(In theaters, May 2002) I have a soft spot for sunny Californian cop comedies, but Showtime really messes it up by trying to pass off as something it clearly can’t be. The story sets up Robert de Niro as a crusty pro cop forced to team up with a younger showboat (Eddie Murphy, getting old for these roles) in order to become the reluctant star of a reality-TV show. Interesting potential for a humorous take-off on buddies cop comedies, reality shows and the differences between TV cops and real cops. There even a particularly amusing sequence in which William Shatner, as himself, teaches the protagonist how to act like cops à la T.J. Hooker! But Showtime really messes up by, on one hand, decrying all the clichés and on another, ending with a half-hour in which all of the clichés are used. Combined to the weak script, the grating antics of Murphy and the tired nature of some gags, the film proves to be lacking substance and ends up being a waste of talent and opportunity. Too bad!

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