Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.
After a few months of working some very long hours, I finally have some time off to do what I want to do again. I was able to go to the movies for the first time in months. There were a few other times when I could have gone before this, but at those times, there were no movies playing that I wanted to see at my local movie theater. This time my friend and I were really wanting to see something else, but it had left our theater. Just our luck. This time there were a few other movies we also wanted to see. We decided on Showtime.
Robert DeNiro - Mitch Preston
Eddie Murphy - Troy Sellars
Rene Russo - Chase Renzi
Frankie Faison - Captain Winship
William Shatner - Himself
T.J. Cross - Re Run
Pedro Damian - Ceasar Vargas
Dante Beze - Mos Def
Kadeem Hardison - I can't remember his character's name. He only a few short scenes in the movie.
Tome Dey - Director
Showtime is rated PG-13. It is an action comedy movie. There are some violent scenes and some swearing in the movie. The word that rhymes with luck doesn't show up in the movie though. I don't think young children should go see Showtime because of the violence that is in the movie. It isn't excessive, but I think it is too violent for children.
Mitch Preston is a detective on the L.A. police force. Trey Sellars is a patrolman on the force. Trey wants to be an actor, but he hasn't had much luck getting roles. Trey has also taken the detective exam and failed it a few times. Mitch and Trey don't know each other.
One night Mitch goes into a convenience store and buys an ICEE. Trey is playing a video game. He is still wearing his uniform and Mitch makes a comment to him. Trey sees that Mitch has a gun and follows him. After watching Mitch for a few minutes, Trey comes to the conclusion that Mitch is a criminal up to something. He calls for backup and follows. A news crew from a tv network picks up Trey's call on a scanner and heads to the scene, sure something big is happening.
Mitch and his partner are on an undercover assignment. Things are going ok until a news helicopter starts flying around overheard. Then one of the other guys, Re Run, notices that the building is on the tv as a breaking news story. Things go very wrong very quick. The other man, I think his name was Mos Deaf, pulled out a huge gun and starts shooting. Trey gets involved, trying to make an arrest. He ends up handcuffed to a chain link fence with his own handcuffs. The news crew in the helicopter caught all of that on video. Mitch's partner is shot. A cameraman shows up and refuses to stop filming. Mitch loses his temper and shoots the camera. His actions are all over the news and papers the next day. It is a public relations nightmare for the police.
Chase Renzi works for a television network. The camera that Mitch shot was from her network. After seeing the story in all the papers, Chase gets an idea for a new reality tv show. They will follow Mitch around with a camera while he does his work. Chase thinks he has a temper and if he loses it on camera again, then it will be great for ratings. Chase also came up with an idea to make sure Mitch will cooperate. The network will file a lawsuit against the police force since Mitch shot their camera. However, if Mitch does the show, they will drop the lawsuit.
Mitch wants no part of the show, but his hands are tied because the Commissioner already agreed to the deal with the network. Mitch is not happy about the situation. Chase shows up at the police station, but Mitch isn't cooperative. He doesn't want to talk to her. He wants nothing to do with the show. Chase decides that Mitch needs a partner and starts looking for the right cop. Trey hears about the show, and that they producers are looking for another cop to be in it. Trey really wants to be on the show. He finds out where Mitch and Chase are meeting and Trey sets up something as an audition. Mitch figures out that it was a set up and he is disgusted that Trey would do that. Chase likes what Trey did and how he and Mitch interact so she puts Trey on the show. Mitch doesn't want to work with Trey, but he is stuck.
Chase sets up some training for Trey and Mitch on how to be tv cops. William Shatner is training them, based on what he learned playing a cop on T.J. Hooker. He is showing them things like how to enter a room, slide across a hood, arching eyebrows and facial expressions. Mitch isn't interested in any of the training at all. He thinks it is stupid. Trey is eating up Shatner's tips. Mitch is focused on a big case he is working on, which was related to the undercover job he was on when he shot the camera. He is trying to track down the big, very illegal gun that was used that night. The gun shoots armor piercing bullets. Mitch picks up some leads here and there, with the cameras and Trey going along. Mitch is not happy about either, but he keeps working on the case. He gets some information that ties the gun to Ceasar Vargas. Mitch and Trey continue to work on the case. Then end up on a wild chase through the city, which gets them both in a lot of hot water. Mitch and Trey have conflicts working together. They are very different. Mitch continues to be uncooperative in working with Chase for the show. Many more things happen throughout the movie. If you want to find out how things turn out, see the movie.
**End of plot discussion**
Showtime is an action comedy, along the lines of the Lethal Weapon series and Rush Hour. Showtime even pokes fun at Lethal Weapon at times. Showtime does follow the formula of other successful buddy cop, action, comedy movies. There are two cops, different ages and races, that have to work together. They do not get along. They have all kinds of conflicts working together. They do some bonding, get to know each other better, and end up best friends. There is action, and a few violent scenes in Showtime, so young children shouldn't see it. There was some swearing, but it wasn't excessive. I don't think the amount of swearing would offend anyone.
I didn't think the plot of Showtime was that original. The main plot of the movie, a reality show focused on two cops, is just cashing in on the recent popularity of reality shows. COPS has been on for years, but the reality show in Showtime is a bit different. That show focuses on only two cops and the cases they are investigating. Some things from their private lives are also shown. COPS doesn't focus in on any particular police officer or show any of their private lives. The fact that the reality show in Showtime focuses in on just two people makes it more like The Real World where the show focuses on a group of people. Mitch and Trey even have to spend time in a confessional type area, talking about their feelings and thoughts every day. Though Mitch doesn't talk about anything when he is in there. He just sits there, shaves, or reads the paper. I also didn't think that the subplot of the illegal gun and armor piercing bullets was very original either. It is similar to the plot of Lethal Weapon 3, where some criminals were turning up with armor piercing bullets. The bullets in Lethal Weapon 3 would fit in a hand gun. The bullets in Showtime only fit in a huge machine guy type of gun. Also, the name of the man Mitch and Trey think is behind the gun and bullets is Ceasar Vargas. I know I have seen another movie where the bad guy's last name was Vargas. I'm thinking I've seen another one where the bad guy's name was Ceasar Vargas, but I can't remember what other movie it was. Couldn't the screen writers come up with a new name for the bad guy?
Many of the things that happen in Showtime remind me of things from the Lethal Weapon movies. Obviously, there are the two cops, different backgrounds and personalities, that have to work together. One is young and a bit daring. The other is older and more cautious. Crazy things happen once the two cops are working together. The big car chase in Showtime reminds me of car chases in the Lethal Weapon movies. I think Showtime is trying to be another Lethal Weapon, but it doesn't really make it. Rene Russo has a part in Showtime and was also in two of the Lethal Weapon movies. Showtime is a good movie and I enjoyed it, but it isn't as good as Lethal Weapon.
The acting in Showtime, while not anything spectacular, wasn't horrible either. I didn't think that Robert DeNiro was as good in this as he was in Meet the Parents or Analyze This. Eddie Murphy had some funny scenes, but he was better as a cop in the Beverly Hills Cop movies. Rene Russo was all right in her role, though she wasn't looking her best. I'm not sure if it was the hair style, makeup, or combination of both, but she has looked better. The other actors, in supporting roles, did ok, but nothing memorable. There are no scene stealers in this movie.
None of the characters in Showtime were very well developed. Very little is told about any of them once they show up in the movie. Mitch has been on the force for several years, is divorced, and took up making pottery after his divorce. It is never told why he got divorced, or why he doesn't date now. Trey is a cop who wants to be an actor. No reason for why he wants to be an actor so bad is given. He has no girlfriend, but it isn't explained why, or even mentioned. It was never said if he had ever been divorced. Chase works for a network, seems to be dedicated to her job, and has been divorced. She just mentioned in passing to Mitch that she was divorced, but she didn't go into any details about why her marriage ended, or even how long she had been divorced. I don't think she was involved with anyone, but the movie doesn't say for sure. Even less is known about the supporting characters. If you like to see movies with richly developed characters, this is not the movie for you.
Mitch Preston - He is a detective on the L.A. police force. He is divorced and makes really bad pottery. He seems to be dedicated to his job. He follows procedures. He does have a bit of a temper. He doesn't want any part of the reality show, but he has no choice. He is not happy about working with Trey. He is focused on tracking down the source of the illegal gun and bullets.
Trey Sellars - He is a patrolman on the L.A. police force. He really wants to be an actor but he hasn't had much luck getting roles. He does seem to over act a bit. He has tried to take the detective exam several times, but has failed each time. He works with Mitch on the illegal gun and bullet case.
Chase Renzi - She is a producer at a television network. She seems to be dedicated to her job. She comes up with an idea for a new reality show after Mitch shoots a tv camera. She is determined that the show will be a success. She doesn't get upset when Mitch is uncooperative. She did mention once that she was divorced.
There are some funny moments in Showtime, and I enjoyed it, but I think it could have been better. If you are a fan of DeNiro or Murphy, then it is worth watching. If you do want to see it, go to a matinee or wait to rent it.
Thanks for reading.
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Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older