Writer: Roger Spottiswoode, Walter Hill, Larry Gross, Steven E de Souza (Screenplay)
Starring: Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Annette O’Toole, Frank McRae, James Remar, David Patrick Kelly
Plot: A hard-nosed cop reluctantly teams up with a wise-cracking criminal temporarily paroled to him, in order to track down a killer.
Tagline – When a tough cop has a cool convict as a partner and 48 hrs to catch a killer, a lot of funny things can happen in . . . 48 HRS.
Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Story: 48 Hrs starts as Ganz (Remar) gets broken out of jail while on work detail by Billy Bear (Landham), he heads off to clean up old debts leaving cops bodies in his path of destruction. It doesn’t take long for Ganz to clash with detective Jack Cates (Nolte), where Ganz forces Jack into a difficult situation.
Jack must go to prisoner Reggie Hammond (Murphy) a wise cracking con man to help track down Ganz using his street knowledge. In what is an unlikely partnership turns into something special as the two find a way to get to the bottom of the crime.
Thoughts on 48 Hrs
Characters – Jack Cates is a grizzled cop, he gets the job done with his experience keeping him in high regard. He must stop the killer using criminal Reggie Hammond as the best chance to catch this killer. Reggie Hammond is a criminal near the end of his stint in jail, he is wise-cracking fast-talking meaning he can bullshit his way out of any situation he finds himself in. He uses this chance of time out of jail to settle a few scores. Elaine is the girlfriend of Jack who is tired of not making things serious between the two. Ganz is the killer on the loose, after his break from prison, he has a short-temper which causes his itchy trigger finger to fire on any enemy he comes across.
Performances – Nick Nolte is a great choice for a seemingly warn down cop, he takes the non-sense style needed for the role and goes with it. Eddie Murphy was one of the most popular stand-up comedians at the time, this was his film debut and he handed it very well, bringing his own energy to the role which could have been something we have seen before. James Remar is good as a villain because it is a character we have seen before, but he really convinces in this role. There is a negative here, that is Annette O’Toole, which to be fair isn’t her fault because the character is written so poorly
Story – The story follows a cop and a criminal work together to stop another criminal, yes this is a buddy cop movie. We have unlikely partnership which must work together to get the common goal. This is a story we have seen plenty of times since and it seems to be a hit or miss through the years, but this does keep things simple enough to enjoy not looking to throw us any surprises along the way.
Action/Crime/Comedy – The action is by the book for cops and criminals, nothing is over the top and mostly comes off like you would expect. The crime world is the cop needing to work with the criminal that is the best chance to catch a cop killer. The comedy comes from the odd pairing that must work together.
Settings – The film is set in San Francisco which always seems to be a great location for any crime comedy world to unfold.
Final Thoughts – This is a good buddy comedy that bought us Eddie Murphy to the big screen. We get the action and comedy without being buried with one too often and most importantly we are entertained.
Overall: Great fun action comedy.