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ROBERT DE NIRO AND EDDIE MURPHY TEAM IN 'SHOWTIME'

year: 2000 cast: Robert DeNiro, Eddie Murphy,William Shatner score: ***
It’s good cop, bad cop. The good cop takes his job serious. Robert De Niro’s Mitch Preston plays by the book and from the very beginning lets us know the difference between fictional fuzz and real ones. The bad cop isn’t crooked, he’s just not very… good as his job. And he’s a bad actor...

Not Eddie Murphy – but his character Trey Sellers wants to be part of a popular reality series TUFF COPS and doesn’t have the acting chops to make the cut. Till he foils an important bust led by DeNiro's Preston, which is captured on the local news – and the reality show, headed by producer Rene Russo, sees a rising star in the gruff veteran cop.

DeNiro and Sam Jackson in JACKIE BROWN
Long story short, the two opposites team up as part of the reality series and, like Murphy’s screen debut 48 HRS (or any buddy flick) they don’t get along at first. Till they move in on the main villain… a Spanish nightclub owner with a giant gun that can shoot through anything (including bulletproof vests)… and both eventually learn to trust each other...

Which all sounds more cliché and banal than it actually is. Despite the déjà vu – we’ve seen this template a million times – SHOWTIME is surprisingly involving despite the fact it’s not drop on the floor funny like Murphy's older movies, and we all know De Niro deserves better. But the characters, if anything else, will keep you invested in the outcome
Eddie Murphy starts a career with Nick Nolte in 48 HRS
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