Thursday, January 19, 2012
(December 1982, U.S.)
I haven't seen Eddie Murphy's last movie TOWER HEIST yet. I understand it wasn't that great, but I can certainly appreciate why people were looking forward to it with such anticipation. Finally, after two decades, people were going to see a return to screen of the rude Eddie, the crude Eddie, and the vulgar Eddie we all first saw on screen with Nick Nolte in Walter Hill's 48 HRS.; a film often credited as being the first "buddy cop" film that would inevitably spawn a genre throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
One of the first things I have to say about this film is that I think it's the only one I've ever seen that makes the city of San Francisco look like as much of a shithole as Los Angeles or New York City. This is a precedent with me because just about every film I've ever seen that took place in San Francisco depicted the "city by the bay" with the beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge and what not. But this is seedy crime film with two psychotic cop killers on the loose being hunted down by tough, grungy cop Jack Cates (Nolte) and convicted criminal Reggie Hammond (Murphy), so I guess nothing about the film is supposed to be pretty. Truth be told, in my opinion, as funny as Eddie Murphy can be in the right role, I don't consider 48 HRS. one of the funniest films I've ever seen, but rather one of the best and toughest police/crime films I've ever seen. The violence is pretty much what you'd expect and in all the right places. The character of Albert Ganz (played by James Remar) is a frightening one as you watch him freely killing innocent people and assorted cops with the greatest of pleasurable ease. That sort of violent character only makes for a greater viewing pleasure when he finally goes down at the hands of the tough cop.
Now here's a couple of personal notes about 48 HRS. and me. It was one of the few R-rated movies I'd seen, even at the tender age of fifteen and I managed to see it when attending a screening of GANDHI (1982) at a multiplex with my parents. I'd already seen GANDHI before on a high school class trip, so somewhere during its progress, I whispered to my father that I was going to walk into another theater and see 48 HRS. My father was so engrossed with GANDHI that he barely paid attention to me and gave me the okay. When 48 HRS. was over, I went back to my parents where GANDHI still had some time to go. Sometimes a long epic can be your best friend when you want to see something that's not necessarily for kids. Another thing to know is that it was the first time I'd ever heard "Roxanne" by The Police. That's right, I heard Eddie Murphy sing it before I heard Sting sing it! How sad is that?? Finally, it was the first time I'd ever seen Annette O'Toole and she looked incredibly hot. It's safe to say I had a crush on her for some time. At least, until I saw her in SUPERMAN III (1983). Then the crush went away.
Favorite line or dialogue:
Reggie Hammond: "And I want the rest of you cowboys to know somethin'...there's a new sheriff in town...and his name is Reggie Hammond! Y'all be cool! Right on!"