Robert De Niro, Eddie Murphy, Rene Russo,
William Shatner, Perdro Damian, Drena De Niro

Tom Dey

Keith Sharon, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar

Jorge Saralegui, Jane Rosenthal

Warner Brothers

Rated PG-13 for action violence, language and some drug content
Rated AA for violence, language and some drug content

Action Comedy
Reality cop show gone wild

Years ago, 1987, there was a film that came out called THE RUNNING MAN it starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. He played an innocent man who is sentenced to participate in a reality game show. It was a capital punishment show that gave you a chance to go free. All you had to do was run and survive past champions who went after you with chainsaws, sharpened hockey sticks and a host of other deadly weapons. I remember at the time thinking and telling friends that someday on television we were going to see shows like this. I love being right. Now television is saturated with a variety of these reality based shows. SHOWTIME explores the development of a reality cop show that stars two off the wall cops that are in the middle of trying to track down a really big gun. When we say big...this gun in the hands of a few nasty boys takes down an entire house. Hollywood reality at it's best.

"You have the right to keep your monkey ass on the other side of this rope."
Put together Robert DeNiro as a no-nonsense LAPD detective Mitch Preston with a frustrated ex-actor rookie cop, Trey Sellars (Eddie Murphy); add in Rene Russo as powerhouse producer Chase Renzi and William Shatner as himself and you have SHOWTIME. What led to these three coming together? Well it was a very big, big gun.

"This is America, Mary; everybody wants to be on television."
One night rookie Trey accidently stumbles into an undercover operation in progress and inadvertently blows Mitch Preston's big chance of nailing a drug dealing gang. One of the gang members has a very big and powerful gun that he shoots off. This thing thing looks like something out of a Marvel comic book. While Preston is trying to apprened him a television news crew barges into the action and causes Mitch to lose out on catching the fleeing suspects. Angry and frustrated at seeing months of work go down the drain, the detective shoots at the camera. You see he hates intrusive reporters and he definitely has a hate on for Trey, whom he sees as a joke cop.

"I saw you on TV the other night shooting up the neighbourhood."
Mitch's bosses are less than impressed my his impulsive actions when the detective's photo ends up on the front page of every newspaper the next day. Even though he receives an official reprimand he has also become an instant media celebrity. This comes to the attention of a powerhouse, mover and shaker television producer Chase Renzi. She sees Mitch as the star of a new cop reality show. Absolutely sure that this would be a sure fire ratings draw she convinces the Chief Of Police on the PR benefits of allowing her to do this show. A ten million dollar lawsuit filed by the station would be dropped as well. She gets the okay to follow Mitch around with a camera crew, around the clock, even filming his personal life. This is the last thing that divorced Mitch wants but it is the only thing that will get him off suspension and back into tracking down the drug dealers with the big guns.

"There's a reason why real cops don't taste drugs, Bill."
Chase wants a partner for Mitch who is lighter to offset the experienced detective's gruff manner and total lack of acting talents. Her job is to find a more talkative and charming, camera savvy officer to make Mitch's partner. After a cute set up robbery by Trey; he charms Chase into picking him as the new partner. Of course since Trey is the joke of the police department, Mitch doesn't want him and can't stand the sight of him. Too bad because Trey is the one. Trey of course is absolutely thrilled at being in front of the camera. Murphy plays Trey as a glib smart ass who actually has more street smarts that he lets on. DeNiro and Murphy make an excellent team and really do a great job of acting in SHOWTIME. They throw the lines around so smoothly that it doesn't look like they are acting. Obviously this is a plus for the movie.

"You know a real cop would never slide across the hood ."
"Why, because the great Mitch wouldn't?."
"No, because your gunbelt scratches the paint job.."
Chase proceeds to change Mitch's living accomodations and even takes his old car and leaves a hummer for him to drive. It is funny when an embarrassed Mitch drives the thing into the police parking lot. Trey on the other hand gets a fast sports car and he loves it. Oh yeah, Chase thinks that the gruff cop should always have a nasty dog so she even gets him a mean German sheppard.

"I entertained millions of viewers jumping on the hoods of cars. "
Renzi hires William Shatner to direct the show. Yup he palys himself and constantly throws in quips about his T.J. Hooker days. He tries to teach the two how to do things for the camera. Shatner's screen appearances are hysterical and he steals the scenes he is in. He teaches them dramatic entrances and how to even slide across the hood of their cars just like he did on T.J. Hooker. The results are hillarious.

"Oh, it's big enough to go through the bullet proof vests you're wearing."
While all this is going on, the drug dealer who escaped from Mitch gets a visit from the his boss drug dealer and big gun owner, Vargas, played by Pedro Damian. After a little tete a tete he leaves and promptly has his men display their displeasure by firing the big guns, with extremely big bullets into the poor slobs house until it comes down, and I do mean it all comes down. This powerful gun is a cross between an AK-47 and a rocket launcher.

"Okay, it's showtime."
Trey in a spurt of brilliance names the new reality show, SHOWTIME. Chase's reality show goes on the air and in time SHOWTIME becomes very popular and is a runaway hit. The female audience especially fall for the two cops. Mitch is still trying to catch the drug dealers and track down the big guns. This leads into some wild car chase sequences that will keep you hopping.

"We believe they are armed and dangerous."
An example of a funny scene is where DeNiro and Murphy confront the bad guys at a gun show. When Chase announces over all the monitors that they are looking for a a man with a very big and dangerous gun, the audience cheers wildly. When the big guns shots start firing, everybody runs for cover, scared. You would think that all these gun enthuasists would pull out there rifles and turn the scene into a melee of gun fire. It would have made a hilarious gun battle scene, but it was never fully realized but still it was good.

"I think two drops of pee fell out."
There are lots of plot holes in the script but still SHOWTIME is fun to watch because of the interaction of all the actors, the action and a wild ending that I haven't seen done before. It involves big guns, a pool and a hotel. When you see the film you will see why this is a great scene. Watch fro a nice bit with Johnny Cochrane turning up as himself. Lots of gags in this film, such as Treys's licence plates that read ICE TREY.

"Hey let's call Don Johnson and tell him we found his apartment."
The irony in the film is that after you see all the shooting and car chases you have to go back to the beginning. During the opening DeNiro, is speaking in a classroom of young students. He tells them that real police work never involves car crashes or shootouts. Director Tom Dey must have thought this would be a good in movie joke and he was right. Dey also gives us decent stunts and music.

"No, this is my batcave."
SHOWTIME is obviously a satire. DeNiro easily spoofs himself and Murphy just bounces around with his high energy and quick line delivery. His acting is over the top and those scenes are the highlights of the film. DeNiro is a great straight man and but when he delivers some of his lines with a dry wit it just makes you burst out laughing. Some of his best scenes are those of him mugging for the camera in his office. His disdain for everything that is transpiring is easy to see in these scenes, but, they will make you laugh.

"Technically the gun doesn't exist."
If you want a movie to go see, that will deliver plenty of good hearty laughs and action, then SHOWTIME is for you. The two main headline actors alone should guarantee the boxoffice success. Word of mouth will help it along as well. I fully expect it to hit numbe one on the opening week. Let's see what happens.

"Why should I be happy? I'm patrolling the neighbourhood."
Of yeah, once again after the credit warning. Stick around for the bloopers at the end. They are funny and worth sticking around to see. Grab the popcorn and enjoy the show.

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