Television, Movie and Play Reviews

Reviewed by Cherie Jung


Starring Eddie Murphy, Michael Rapaport, Michael Wincott.
Directed by Thomas Carter
Running time: 121 minutes

These will be the longest 121 minutes that you are likely to spend at a movie theater this year. Let me just say right up front that this movie is a stinker. Even die-hard Murphy fans in the audience were grumbling in their seats during the showing of the film.

Eddie Murphy plays Scott Roper, the fast-talking hostage negotiator for the San Francisco Police Department. His wise-cracking, unorthodox style is supposed to be what separates him from the other cops who just prefer to shoot the hostage takers.

Roper is teamed with a rookie partner (Michael Rapaport), who just happens to be a sharp-shooter from the SWAT team. There is one humorous scene when Roper is training the new guy to be aware of his surroundings during a negotiation. Other than that, this movie deteriorates into a rather boring shoot 'em up. Roper only really negotiates in the opening incident.

Even the chase scenes are boring. Chasing the bad guys on the picturesque San Francisco cable cars has been done before and done with much more excitement.

The other thing that really muddies up this film is Roper's love life. I would have been quite happy had the ruthless, psychotic killer (Michael Korda) killed her early on. Neither she, nor her relationship with Roper were worth saving, let alone, drag through the movie.

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