(Second viewing, On DVD, September 2017) If ever you find yourself watching Another 48 Hrs and wondering where much of the plot went, be comforted by the fact that the first cut of the film ran nearly an hour longer, and got mercilessly over-edited in the few weeks before its wide release. In other words, much of the story got left on the cutting room floor, leaving only the set-pieces in place. Which isn’t nearly as insane as it sounds: As with a number of buddy-cop movies spawned by its predecessor, Another 48 Hrs is unremarkable for plot (except when it’s missing) and noteworthy for the banter between its characters and the quality of its action sequences. Here Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte are back in more or less the same shape as in the first film (egregiously so in the case of Murphy’s character, as the film goes out of its way to ensure that he has remained in jail in the interval rather than have him evolve a bit), and director Walter Hill ensures that the film goes on its merry humdrum way. Another 48 Hrs does have a few strong moments: the bus-flipping sequence is cool; there is another intimidate-the-bar sequence to ape the first movie, and the motorcycle-crashing-through-the-adult-cinema-screen sequence reminded me that I did see Another 48 Hrs at the drive-in back in 1990, even though I remembered nearly nothing else about the movie itself. It’s a noticeable step down from the already average original, but at least there’s Nolte and Murphy bickering to make up for the dull shootouts, incoherent story and generic direction. That’s what sequels gave you back in 1990.
(On DVD, September 2017) Ah, the eighties … peak era for police brutality and casual racism being presented as comedy engines. Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy team up in 48 Hrs. for a gritty crime comedy that prefigures much of the buddy-cop films to follow. The script is unrepentant about its use of racist profanity and brutal violence—it’s meant to be funny, but modern audiences may disagree. This being said, the film does works relatively well at what it tries to be, however distasteful this may be. Murphy is responsible for most of the laughs, most notably in a sequence in which he intimidates an entire redneck bar. Anette O’Toole has a far-too-brief turn as a peripheral girlfriend that disappears from the action without much fanfare. Director Walter Hill keeps things hopping steadily, which helps in watching the film today. While interesting as a prototype of latter action movies, 48 Hrs. has a limited appeal from today’s perspective—it’s been imitated, remixed and redone so often that Murphy aside, it’s difficult to see much of it as being distinct today.