Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Movie Review: 48 Hrs. (1982)

48 Hours (1982) - USA -  Action Comedy - Rated R
Directed by Walter Hill
Starring Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Annette O'Toole, James Remar, Frank McRae, David Patrick Kelly, Sonny Landham, Brion James, Jonathan Banks, Denise Crosby, Margot Rose

A gritty blend of action and comedy that despite a weak story is raised several levels by the performances of Nolte and Murphy to make for an entertaining movie.

A convict stages an escape while on work camp detail and subsequently shoots two cops in a hotel with another cop's gun. That cop is now trying to find the killer and his partner with the help of an inmate who has been released to his custody for 48 hours. Conflicts, shoot-outs and comedy ensue as the two pursue the pair of killers and the trail of bodies they leave along the way.

48 Hours is a big screen movie that is loud and raucous. Nolte paved his way in movies to come with his portrayal of a tough talking and tough drinking cop while Eddie Murphy did the same showing that he has the chops, both dramatic and comedic, to adapt to any situation. The mix works well as though they are seemingly worlds apart they are not that different in their capabilities as actors.

The weakest part of the movie is the story itself. There really is no mystery here or in depth police procedural. In lesser hands than Nolte and Murphy this could have sputtered, but that's also a credit to its strength and what makes it what it was when it was released and what it is today, and that is Nolte and Murphy are the movie and their chemistry together hits the right notes that inspired many buddy cop movies to follow.

My Rating: 4 Fingers. I was tempted to give it 3 fingers because other than Nolte and Murphy's chemistry in this there is not much to talk about, but it is rewatchable, eminently entertaining, and the two main performances lift it above its less than stellar story.

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