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Showtime (2002)

Lights. Camera. Aggravation.

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 95 minutes

UK Certificate: 12


I’m still not certain how much of Robert De Niro’s permanent look of pure exasperation in this film is down to his undeniable acting ability, and how much is out of genuine disdain at the recent path of his own career. Seriously, is there ANYONE out there who wants to see De Niro appearing in lame buddy cop comedies like this one?

Just a year before making this, big Bob starred in ’15 Minutes’, in which he played a detective making a bit of cash on the side as a reality TV star. In ‘Showtime’ it’s practically the same deal again, only this time it’s a comedy. Well, sort of.

De Niro’s character is the crabby Detective Mitch Preston, who’s forced by his boss into playing ball with a TV company who are threatening to sue the department over a bit of damage he did to one of their cameras (i.e. he shot it). So he’s paired up with jabber-mouthed plod and wannabe-actor Trey Sellars (Eddie Murphy), and told to do his thing while a telly crew make a general nuisance of themselves in the background. It’s all exactly as hilarious as it sounds – which is, of course, not very.

None of the performances are too bad, and William Shatner manages to squeeze a few laughs out of playing himself in a scene where he teaches our duo how to act like proper T.J. Hooker-style TV cops. Unfortunately, the script as a whole is a dismal piece of work, and the film becomes extremely uncomfortable to watch as it attempts to spoof the very same clichés it inevitably relies on to reach its own resolution.

It's Got: A bad guy (Pedro Damian) with a non-descript accent best described as “foreign”.

It Needs: To be taken off-air.

DVD Extras Commentary from director Tom Dey, additional scenes with additional commentary, a trailer, cast and crew details, and William Shatner taking us through the “rules” of the buddy cop genre in a vaguely-spoofy ‘Making Of’ documentary. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10


Why oh why do you do it, Robert?