5 August 2013 | ashleybrownmedia
In some ways average, other ways quite good.
For the first hour of this film all I could think of was how average it was, I even had an average review written in my head for it. However, there are certain scenes, thrills and aspects - e.g. the ending predicament that are actually pretty good and will throw you.
Eddie Murphy plays a 'wisecracking' hostage negotiator, although tbh he's very much the 'serious' Eddie Murphy for most of the film. I prefer the fun Beverly Hills Cop guy, but there we go. There is a scene where he's talking about being in a thong and being seen by his mother's friends that is hilarious though. Plot-wise he basically gets on the wrong side of some nutter and his cousin and they conspire to make life hell for him and his English girlfriend. The female lead is a tad weak in this, and I must admit I've never ever heard of her (although I was 7 when this film came out - maybe she was big then) but she looked good - Carmen Ejogo she is.
Michael Rapaport is in this as well, as an intelligent sniper who is paired up with Murphy. Now I thought, judging by the cover etc, this was gonna be a buddy cop movie but Rapaport (an actor I like) is underused really. Don't get me wrong he's in the film a fair bit but his character has next to no personality. All I learnt was he's polite, sharp, from the Swat team and is a sniper. That's it. The film could have been done without his character if they wanted to save whatever fee he commanded.
Whoever plays Eddie Murphy and Carme Ejogo's dog is good in this though. Stellar, powerhouse performance reminded me of Hanks in The Green Mile or Orson Welles in Citizen Kane.
So yeah, mixed bag really - there's hate for post-80s Murphy films sure, but this is one of the better ones. It's a solid watch (on netflix atm) and there's some good action and the bad guy is easy to hate, so there's a lot worse out there. I won't strongly recommend but I'll say it's worth a shot - you know what you're going to get.